In the last few days, we have learned that several individuals will not run for the United States Senate. Former Republican New York governor George Pataki said earlier this week he will not run against Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand. Yesterday, we also learned that former Republican Wisconsin governor Tommy Thompson has chosen not to challenge Sen. Russ Feingold. And of course we learned that adult film star Stormy Daniels has decided against challenging David Vitter (R-LA) in the Louisiana Republican primary.
Without having Pataki and Thompson, Republicans have failed to recruit top tier challengers for either Senate race. This makes it very unlikely that Republicans will be able to flip control of those seats.
To take control of the Senate, Republicans will need to win 10 seats in November. This year, the one-third of Senate seats up for election leave Republicans with relatively few good races to potentially win. Without top-teir challengers in New York and Wisconsin, it does not appears that Republicans are even seriously contesting enough seats that if they manage to somehow basically sweep the field they can retake control of the Senate. While Republicans are likely to see their Senate caucus grow, legitimate hopes of actually winning control of the chamber are fading.