The Blog

Cornyn Gets Some Good News

10:43 AM, Jan 15, 2009 • By BRIAN FAUGHNAN
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Early in this Senate cycle attention has been focused on the news that four Republicans will not seek re-election in 2010. In a way of course, this is good news. Knowing about these retirements early gives NRSC Chairman John Cornyn (R-TX) plenty of time to line up credible candidates. And it appears that the GOP is assured of fielding very strong candidates in competitive open seat races in Florida, Missouri, Kansas, and Ohio. It also appears very likely that Republicans will run strong and experienced campaigners in Colorado, New York, Illinois, and Delaware.

Today Cornyn got a welcome piece of good news: the Democrats could not get their strongest candidate to take on New Hampshire incumbent Judd Gregg:

Democrats' best hope of unseating Sen. Judd Gregg (R-N.H.) dropped by the wayside when popular three-term Gov. John Lynch (D) told reporters in Concord that he would not run.

Lynch, who has been reelected twice with only token opposition and heads the state's powerful Democratic machine, was seen as a long shot to enter the race, though some in the party had hoped he would throw his hat in the ring.

Gregg has said he will seek reelection to a fourth term in 2010. Without Lynch in the Senate race, Democratic Reps. Paul Hodes and Carol Shea-Porter are said to be actively considering a challenge.

Lynch's decision to seek re-election rather than challenge Gregg does more than make the seat a lot safer for the GOP. It could also lead to two winnable open House seats, if Hodes and Shea Porter decide to run for the Senate. And that would be a welcome break for hard-pressed House Republicans.