Here’s the view of what happened from the Reed camp: Once the Abramoff stuff exploded, it was going to be a very tough road for Reed. Glen Bolger did a poll for the campaign in January showing that it was possible for Reed to win, but his negatives were very high and he would have to squeak by. Reed had a choice to make, and decided to stay in the race and try to make it happen. In the end, soft Republicans appear to have broken very strongly against him in the suburbs. There may have been some cross-over Democratic votes in the open primary, but that alone can’t account for a 54-46% loss. Reed’s connection to the Abramoff stuff had broken back in the summer of 2004, so it couldn’t have been predicted that it would be such a huge deal even now. But it was. The Reed camp blames John McCain for playing payback for his 2000 primary defeat with a campaign of leaks, and the press, of course, was happy to pile on. The Atlanta Journal-Constitution ran dozens and dozens of stories about the scandal. Outside liberal groups might have spent upwards of a quarter-million on the race. The Reed team felt good at the close of the race, but, in the end, they just couldn’t scratch it out.