The GOP still stands a good chance of picking up perhaps 7 or more Senate seats in November, but Democrats caught a break last week when Tommy Thompson decided not to challenge Russ Feingold in Wisconsin and George Pataki announced he wouldn't run against Kirsten Gillibrand in New York.
Republicans don't have a shot in New York now, and the candidate to challenge Feingold probably won't emerge until the late September 14th primary concludes and will have a considerably tougher time than Thompson would have. But Republicans still have hope that Dino Rossi, the Republican gubernatorial candidate in Washington state who lost in a recount in 2004, could instantly move another "leaning Democratic" seat into the "tossup" column.
Will he run or won't he? That's even what people close to Dino Rossi would like to know, The Seattle Times reports. Polls show the former GOP gubernatorial nominee would be competitive against Washington Sen. Patty Murray, a member of the Democratic leadership, but Rossi continues to say he'll make his decision by the June 11 candidate filing deadline.
State Sen. Don Benton and motivational speaker Chris Widener both consider themselves friends of Rossi, and both are running for the Senate. They're among 11 Republicans running in the Aug. 17 primary. But neither knows which way Rossi is leaning.
Widener admitted Rossi "would be our best chance at defeating Patty Murray," and said he would immediately drop out if Rossi decided to run.
A recent Rasmussen poll showed Rossi polling 2 points behind Murray. While Murray fared better against other Republicans, she was under 50% in every matchup.