Because of the September primary, the Democratic nominee could emerge battered and broke, with little time to regroup before November. Still, Democratic strategist Scott Ferson maintains that so long as a credible Democrat emerges, general election money should not be a problem.
"If this becomes one of two states where Democrats can pick up a seat--Nevada and Massachusetts--I would advise not to worry about the general election money," he said.
But there is no establishment candidate who amounts to a get. Kennedy's widow, Vicki Kennedy, and Massachusetts Gov. Deval Patrick have passed.
Massachusetts remains one of the best pickup opportunities for Democrats in 2012--illustrating how few Republican-held seats are in play this cycle. Faced with a limited map, Democrats will continue to focus heavily on the Bay State, and they'll continue to work to define Brown. But getting the right candidate to face Brown in the general election is equally important. In time, that candidate might surface. But it's not clear who that person is just yet.