That didn't take long. Chuck Yob, the Michigan insider who was rumored to be doing a double-bid with Fred Thompson, had backed out of the race. That's probably going to make the race a little cleaner, considering how much dirt has flown between Anuzis and Yob for a while. But I did say only a little. Yob just endorsed Blackwell. From an organizing perspective that should signal to GOP insiders that Yob's probably going to give Blackwell some help on the ground -- meaning that concerns about Blackwell's ability to organize a state should be informed by the endorsement. (Think about it: Why would it matter if Yob was endorsing someone? This is a message.)
In the same statement, Steve Forbes endorsed Blackwell. When I spoke to an insider from another campaign, it's clear that Blackwell's considered to be a real conservative, and thus a formidable candidate. His failed gubernatorial bid, I'm told, is somewhat ameloriated by the Yob endorsement.
Mike Duncan's own intentions to run were confirmed yesterday. This will likely have the effect of dividing loyalties. Some GOP chairmen really like Duncan, while others feel he's ignored the state-to-state game.
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