It's time to refresh the old cup of Senate tea leaves.
The Democratic primary for U.S. Senate in 2010 continues to be completely wide open, though it's increasingly clear that most of the major state officials will pass on it.
Here's the latest conventional wisdom:
THE LAST BIG HOPE: Washington Democrats and national political pundits continue to search for a brand name. U.S. Rep. Mike McIntyre is still toying with a run, and Secretary of State Elaine Marshall has lately dipped her toe in the water. A definitive "no" has not come from state Sen. Dan Blue yet.
DARK HORSES: Former state Sen. Cal Cunningham leads the pack of dark horses, though former Obama fundraiser Kenneth Lewis can't be counted out. Marshall's legislative liaison, Robert Wilson, told the Insider he was flirting with the idea, but he never returned Dome's calls and he would not likely run against his boss.
WHO'S NOT RUNNING: U.S. Reps. Heath Shuler, Bob Etheridge and Brad Miller, Lt. Gov. Walter Dalton, Attorney General Roy Cooper, state Sen. Malcolm Graham, state Reps. Grier Martin and Tricia Cotham, Raleigh Mayor Charles Meeker, and Elizabeth Edwards have all said no. Of course, so did Kay Hagan in 2008.
In Dome's view, Marshall may actually make a run for it: 1) She's interested, since she ran for Senate in 2002; 2) she wouldn't lose her day job (unlike McIntyre or Blue); and 3) at 63, this is probably her last chance to do it.
That said, Cunningham has a good biography and seems to be exciting the netroots.