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Fall of the titans

Democrats are cheering the decision by George Pataki -- likely to be joined by Tommy Thompson -- to pass on a Senate run in a deep blue state.

They should cheer. There was a moment in February, after Sen. Scott Brown's (R-Mass.) win, when the terrain looked so good for Republicans that figures from yesteryear like Pataki, Thompson, and Dan Coats decided that they could stride ride back into politics. Had all three of them done so, three Senate seats that Democrats counted as safe would be been up for grabs.

But only Coats has made the jump, and for his troubles he's been prodded and eyed suspiciously by the conservative activists who've taken over the base since he last ran for office. Pataki and Thompson won't have to do that -- although the duration of their dithering has wasted time another candidate could have used to jump into the race and build a campaign.

The practical impact of this: It becomes incredibly hard to see where Republicans get the 10 seats that win them control of the Senate.

By David Weigel  |  April 14, 2010; 12:22 PM ET
Categories:  2010 Election  
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