NBC is reporting
that Torricelli is going to drop out of the race for the New Jersey Senate seat if a "suitable replacement" can be found before the election. The story is based on anonymous Democratic sources, so it might be someone's idea of a trial balloon.
If the story is true, it does not bode well for the New Jersey Democrats. Some kind of miracle would have to happen for a candidate to be found, gather a campaign staff and make himself known to the electorate in the remaining month or so before the election. Some of that can be sort of prepackaged by selecting a candidate already known by the electorate, which is why the anonymous sources are floating Bill Bradley's name, along with Frank Lautenberg's.
On the other hand, if the story is false, then it does not bode well for New Jersey Democrats in general and Torricelli in particular. As to Democrats in general, the mere existence of the story gives the distinct impression that the party believes Torricelli can't win. And from Torricelli's point of view, try to imagine running for the Senate for months (spending hundreds of thousands, if not millions, of dollars) and spending the last leg of the campaign answering questions about whether or not you're going to drop out of the race..
Does anyone out there know what kind of legal hurdles would have to be surmounted to replace Torricelli on the ballot? NBC says "The deadline for candidates to file for the race has passed, although the party presumably would seek permission, from the courts if necessary, to fill a vacancy on the ballot." That's not very enlightening.