When I reviewed all the folks we tested against Elizabeth Dole over the course of 2007 last week, I missed a couple. In June we found that Bev Perdue would trail Dole 46-37 and that Richard Moore would start out at a 45-34 deficit.
If I recall correctly we tested them simultaneously against Dole because there was a sense among Democratic leaders and activists at the time that it was wasteful that two strong candidates were duking it out in a nasty primary contest for Governor while the Senate race remained untouched.
With the news now that Moore might be considering a run for the Senate, you really have to wonder how much better off his political career would be now if he'd just decided two years that he wanted to be a Senator. With the benefit of hindsight it seems pretty likely he would have won considering how fragile Dole turned out to be.
A Moore candidacy would more than likely have kept any other serious Democratic candidates from running, and folks would have been happy with him for preserving party tranquility by avoiding a divisive Gubernatorial primary and also for stepping up to the plate to take on Dole.
If Moore ends up running and getting the Democratic nomination in 2010 he will certainly be a formidable candidate. But his best shot at being elected to the Senate has probably already passed.