Wednesday, July 29, 2009

No big-name Democrat wants a U.S. Senate seat?

Are top-tier Democrats afraid to take on Richard Burr? Burr (left), a first-term Republican U.S. senator from Winston-Salem, is looking stronger each time a notable Democrat announces he won't run.

The latest was Mike McIntyre, a congressman from North Carolina's 7th district. He said this week that he feels he can be more effective by running for an eighth term in the House.

So add McIntyre to a list of prominent Democrats who are taking a pass. That list includes Attorney General Roy Cooper and U.S. Reps. Heath Shulter, Brad Miller and Bob Etheridge. State Sen. Malcolm Graham of Charlotte has also said he won't run.

This fact is being touted by the national Republican Party, which is probably confused but relieved. Polls suggest that Burr could be vulnerable to a well-funded challenge from a prominent Democrat next year.

You may think there's plenty of time for someone to step up, given that the election is more than 15 months away. But Burr has a very respectable $2.5 million in the bank. So unless a Democrat plans to spend millions of his own money, no time like the present to get moving.

On the other hand, was anyone giving Kay Hagan a shot in July 2007?

- Posted by Taylor Batten