So Rudy Giuliani made it official today that he will not challenge Gillibrand for her NY-Sen seat. For those who have not been keeping track, polls have shown Giuliani consistently leading Gillibrand by a relatively comfortable margin. By way of contrast, Gillibrand and Pataki (who will almost certainly get the GOP nod with Rudy out of the race) are currently neck-and-neck in polling. So, the NRSC's failure to recruit Giuliani into this race, given NY's partisan tilt, moves this race effectively from toss-up to leans dem territory.
Also today, yet another poll was released showing that North Dakota Governor John Hoeven would crush Byron Dorgan in a hypothetical matchup for Dorgan's Senate seat. The poll also showed Duane Sand (the presumptive GOP nominee in Hoeven's absence) trailing Dorgan by a healthy margin. In other words, if the NRSC successfully recruits Hoeven, this race instantly becomes "Likely R" - if not, it remains "Likely D." The problem here is that Hoeven said in 2008 that he would likely make a decision on his entrance into the race by September or October of 2009. That time frame has come and gone, and not a peep from Hoeven. Thus, while the time for Hoeven to enter the race has not passed (the official filing deadline is in next April), the signs do not look promising for Hoeven's entrance into the race.
So, to recap, in 2 races where the NRSC could have recruited a candidate who polled better against the Democrats by double-digits, they are thus far 0 for 2.
On the other hand, they have succeeded in recruiting two completely unnecessary candidates in FL/CA who don't poll better than the conservatives who were aready in the race, and in so doing, piss off activists in the respective states and conservatives nationwide.
So, you know, well done.
A personal note below the fold.
In the middle of the fracas last week with NRSC communications director Brian Walsh, I developed a severe GI virus which made concentration difficult, and decided on the advice of some people whose judgment I trust that the point had been made, and to drop the whole matter. I have been told that Walsh showed up in the comments here and accused me of posting things here at RS that were ghost-written by Josh Trevino. This, of course, is something I cannot allow to go unanswered.
Although Mr. Walsh is presumably unfamiliar with my body of work at RedState and other sites, I assure him and anyone else reading this that I am perfectly capable of writing a series of fairly pedestrian posts criticizing Walsh's efforts all on my lonesome. As it happens, I thought the last post about Walsh was important enough that I sought the input of several writers whose judgment and editing skills I trust to provide their input on the piece. I sent them emails with draft versions of the piece hours before it went up, and they are eyewitnesses to my craftsmanship of the piece in question. None of these individuals were Josh Trevino. Additionally, I enlisted the help of our own Aaron Gardner to utilize Google Wave's live editing service to allow people to edit the piece simultaneously. If Mr. Walsh desires, I can provide him with a screenshot of this Google Wave session.
Thank you for your indulgence in this personal matter.