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NC-Sen: Will AG Roy Cooper Announce in the Next Two Weeks?

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Originally posted at my blog Senate Guru.

Freshman Republican backbencher Richard "Bank Run" Burr has been a mostly silent Senator since he first won his seat back in 2004. However, in the last several weeks, he's gained notoriety for two big political blunders. First, he inexplicably blocked the appointment of Iraq veteran, double-amputee, veterans' advocate Tammy Duckworth to a position in the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs. Then, he relayed the story of how, with the fiscal crisis about to hit hard last Fall, his weak-kneed response was to have his wife take out as much cash from their neighborhood bank as ATMs would allow. Not exactly the steady hand North Carolinians (or anyone) want managing our nation's fiscal affairs.

While "Bank Run" Burr was doing all he could to keep his low approval ratings low, polls were coming out showing Democratic state Attorney General Roy Cooper leading Burr in hypothetical match-ups (Public Policy Polling in December, Civitas in March, Public Policy Polling in April). Attorney General Cooper indicated that he was interested in a 2010 Senate bid; and, WaPo's Chris Cillizza even reported that he had heard that AG Cooper would decide on a Senate bid "by the end of the month." The end of the month is now less than two weeks away.

So we have favorable polls, a public indication of interest, and a report that a decision would be forthcoming in the next two weeks. And today we have, what I think is, the tipping point.

An E-newsletter from the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee (DSCC) called The Rant arrived in my inbox this morning with the subject line "Polling in NC." The focus was, as noted, heavily on Burr's moronic "Bank Run" story and on the new Public Policy Polling poll showing Burr still trailing Attorney General Cooper. Below is a screen cap:

DSCC Focus on NC-Sen

In addition to the E-newsletter, there was the induction of Burr in to the DSCC's Hall of Shame, as well as the announcement of a new DSCC web page: http://www.dscc.org/RunOnTheBanks - which, of course, highlights "Bank Run" Burr's reckless economic "solution" and unveils a new web video highlighting recent media footage criticizing Burr's actions, at right.

So not only do we have favorable polls, a public indication of interest, and a report that a decision would be forthcoming in the next two weeks - but we also have the DSCC putting a great deal of focus on Richard Burr and hyping the poll results of Attorney General Cooper, whose decision, again, will come in the next two weeks. Given how shrewd the DSCC is about candidate recruiting and outreach, I don't think they would put this degree of focus on NC-Sen, hyping the Burr-Cooper polls in particular, unless they knew that a positive decision would be announced in the next two weeks.

In short, I'm speculating that North Carolina's Democratic Attorney General Roy Cooper will announce that he will be a candidate for Senate against freshman Republican backbencher Richard "Bank Run" Burr in 2010 and that the announcement will come before the end of April. An announcement would be a massive recruiting success for the DSCC and immediately give NC-Sen "toss-up" status, making the race one of the highest-profile Senate match-ups in the country.

Fingers extremely crossed.