An Opening for Thompson, In Theory

As was expected, reported, revised, and now confirmed, Rudy Giuliani won’t run for anything in 2010.

What does that mean for Kirsten Gillibrand?

“Her path is now cleared,” one Democratic operative “enthused” to the Daily News.

Is it? Mr. Giuliani’s decision clears the way for almost any Democrat to trounce a Republican field that’s currently made up of no-name candidates. Which means the decision could, theoretically, embolden the one Democrat who hasn’t been convinced to stand down, and who has (at times) polled strongly in a hypothetical primary against the incumbent senator: Bill Thompson.

A Quinnipiac poll from two weeks ago had Mr. Thompson–who was cagey about a Senate run in a Times story this weekend–beating Ms. Gillibrand 41 to 28 in a primary, but losing badly to Mr. Giuliani–52 to 36–in the general election. A Siena poll muddies the water; it had Mr. Thompson losing to Ms. Gillibrand 32 to 23.

Whether Mr. Thompson trusts those polls is another matter. He told the Times he expected to win the mayor’s race by three points, despite pre-election polling that had him down by double digits. 

The other question is whether anyone believes he’d actually run. Because probably not. An Opening for Thompson, In Theory