Now that Kay Bailey Hutchison's lost her Gubernatorial race, we're probably back to the will she or won't she game when it comes to whether she'll resign from her Senate seat.
If she wants to stay she has plenty of support from an unlikely source: Rick Perry's supporters. On our final poll of the Texas race 55% of them said they'd like for Hutchison to continue serving in the Senate compared to 40% who wanted to see her out of elected office. That's why there's some limit to the extent to which her loss yesterday was a personal repudiation- a lot of people who voted against her like her alright but just wanted her to stay where she is.
If she does end up leaving it will be a tough road for Democrats. We found recently that 53% of voters in the state would be inclined to support a Republican replacement for her compared to only 38% who said they would vote for a Democrat. Barack Obama's approval in the state stands at a pretty miserable 33/61 spread and with those kinds of numbers it's no wonder voters in the state aren't real inclined toward electing someone who would support his agenda.
The best case scenario for Democrats would probably be for Hutchison to serve out her term but retire in 2012, giving the party a chance at an open seat in a year when Democratic turnout will almost definitely be higher and when the political climate could be a lot more friendly to the party.
I have a hard time seeing Hutchison resigning now after she demurred so much over the course of the last year, unless she's really humiliated by how poorly she ended up doing last night.