HARRISBURG, Pa. â€“ A Pennsylvania Democratic party leader says MSNBC pundit Chris Matthews may be considering a run for U.S. Senate in 2010.
The Patriot-News of Harrisburg reports Matthews met with state party leaders this past week in Washington to discuss a possible bid to unseat Republican Sen. Arlen Specter.
Party official Mary Isenhour says she left the meeting feeling that Matthews still hadn’t made up his mind.
The 62-year-old Matthews hosts MSNBC’s “Hardball” and provides political commentary on NBC’s “Today.” He ran unsuccessfully for a Pennsylvania congressional seat in 1974.
Matthews hasn’t denied reports that he’s considering a run, but he is denying a report that he’s begun recruiting – you guessed it – former Obama staffers to help him out:
Chris Matthews is denying reports that he’s recruiting staffers from the Obama campaign for a possible race for Senator from Pennsylvania in 2010.
“It is absolutely not true,” Matthews said in a statement posted on FiveThirtyEight.com. Matthews appears to be denying that he’s staffing up — but not necessarily denying that he’s in some way planning a campaign.
A Quinnipiac poll this week shows Matthews trailing GOP Sen. Arlen Specter by a 45%-33% margin. But oddly enough this is not because of any high negatives — instead, 60% of Pennsylvania voters said they hadn’t heard enough about Matthews to form an opinion of him. Outside of people like us who track politics incessantly, he might not actually be that big a name.
That will, of course, change the minute he asks his hero for a campaign plug.
In related Senate election news, the Power Line blog has the latest developments on the Coleman/Franken race recount. And don’t forget, the Georgia Senate runoff between incumbent Republican Saxby Chambliss and Democrat challenger Jim Martin is Tuesday.
Cross-posted to Right Wing News, where I am helping guestblog for John Hawkins on Sundays.