Peter King Not Running For Senate, Further Boosting Gillibrand’s Prospects For 2010

Rep. Peter King (R-NY) has announced that he will not run for Senate in 2010 against appointed incumbent Democrat Kirsten Gillibrand, after having publicly eyed the race for months.

Polls had previously shown King running competitively against Gillibrand, with high undecided numbers due to a lack of overall brand recognition for the incumbent. But King admitted in his official statement that he would face tough obstacles: “The reality is that a statewide Democratic candidate starts the race with a voter registration edge of almost 3 million. To overcome such a large margin, there would have to be intensive media coverage of the race and I would need to raise at least $30 million.”Gillibrand has had a lot of good developments come her way in the past few weeks. Despite polls showing her facing tough races in both the primary and general elections, her potential opponents in each race have all bowed out.

In the case of the Democratic primary, the White House moved to clear the field by personally imploring challengers not to run, and it became clear that Democratic challengers would have a hard time raising money after all the top unions and other interest groups backed Gillibrand. For the general election, King realized that New York is a state that fundamentally favors the Democrat.