“Liddy’s Dole’s poll numbers are phenomenal,” a leading Democrat confides. Assuming she’s the Republican nominee, what chance do any of the Democrats have? Here’s the spin we’ve heard.

Dan Blue: Only Blue will present a sharp contrast with Dole. He’s strongly progressive, with an up-from-nothing story of political success and family triumph to counter her tale of Salisbury girl makes good and marries Bob Dole. Blue will be the only African American in the Senate if he wins. Thus, his candidacy will be as big a cause célèbre around the country as hers.

Erskine Bowles: Dole will have enough campaign money to bury Blue or Marshall, but Bowles can match and maybe even outspend her. If the recession persists, he’s the candidate with the business know-how that voters will be looking for. If not, at least the Democratic message gets out in Bowles’ commercials–and is suitably moderate, no lib’rul stuff–so the rest of the Democratic ticket isn’t destroyed.

Elaine Marshall: The boys can’t help but lose female Democrats to Dole, but Marshall can keep them in the fold. Dole’s stiff, Marshall’s folksy and a giant-killer to boot (remember Richard Petty?), so in a contest of womano a womano, the better womano will win in an upset.

Cynthia Brown: There’s a refreshing sincerity to Cynthia Brown’s campaign. She’s refusing to think of her candidacy as quixotic, though her chances are clearly slim. And she’s not settling for what conventional wisdom might assign as a long-shot’s just rewards–meaning she’s not running to make a lefty statement, she’s running to win.