The DSCC has failed yet again to snag a competitive challenger, this time in North Carolina. Today, Rep. Brad Miller announced that he will not challenge Sen. Elizabeth Dole next year. Schumer had earlier tried to get Gov. Easley into the race, but he opted out, well aware that it would be extremely difficult even for a well-known, popular Democrat to knock off a sitting Republican Senator in a red state in a Presidential election year. The decision comes as a major blow to Democrats seeking to expand the playing field, as Miller was already third on the list of potential Democrat candidates. Now, there is an even bigger gap between Miller and the next tier of candidates.
For all her troubles as head of the NRSC, Dole remains a formidable fundraiser for herself and has compiled a conservative voting record that is fitting for someone filling in for Jesse Helms. She finished the first quarter with $1.5 million on hand and has shown no signs of slowing down. With the state’s top Democrats, and a second teamer, having decided against running, it is likely that a third-tier Democrat will simply use the opportunity to raise his profile for a future bid rather than pose a serious challenge. Sen. Dole is sitting pretty right now, and it now looks even more as though Sen. Schumer has lost his touch.