The logic, several longtime Democratic strategists and insiders said, is that if Coakley loses such a blue state – and the seat held by Ted Kennedy, one of the senate’s most liberal members, for nearly 50 years – then it spells trouble for other Dem incumbents in the fall…

But one Ford booster said privately, “If Coakley loses, or wins by less than five, it increases the likelihood that he gets in.”

Many of Gillibrand’s colleagues have remained cold to her, a year after she was appointed to the senate.