Former Tennessee Congressman Harold Ford Jr. wasn't worried that people considered him a carpetbagger for running for Senate in New York, but he was "dumbfounded" by the fact the pro-choice groups wouldn't support his campaign, according to the Times. Before dropping out of the race, Ford—who once labeled himself as pro-life—tried and failed to win over abortion rights activists. "He was dumbfounded that it kept tripping him up," said a friend.

The Merrill Lynch executive—whose campaign started at the urging of an HBO co-president at an Upper East Side dinner party—wanted the race to focus on issues like tax cuts and job growth. So he started fretting as the focus turned towards "who got there first, and who meant it the most" on issues like abortion and gay marriage, Ford reportedly said. After learning that Naral-Pro Choice of New York wouldn't support him because he voted to ban late-term abortions even when a mother's health is at risk, he reportedly "looked shocked."

But it wasn't just his record on abortion that kept him out of the race. Ford—who voted twice to ban same-sex marriage—was met with scorn when he appeared at a Manhattan gay rights group meeting. Sources said he was also shaken by "the reality that there were few easy constituencies for him to grab on to, outside of Wall Street." And even Wall Street wasn't guaranteed, according to hedge fund manager Marc Lasry who told Ford that Gillibrand had already "locked a lot of Wall Street up." After being outed for earning $2 million per year before bonuses, and commissioned poll results on his viability were "not a slam dunk, at all," he dropped out, sending this message to supporters: "I'm not going to run this time ... Thank you for your support."