"Regardless of the amount of support and outreach that's been given to me, it just did not make sense," he said on HBO's "Joe Buck Live" last night.
This morning, Schilling wrote on his blog that "given the amount of things going on I cannot in good conscience even consider running for the open Senate seat here in Massachusetts."
"This state is in desperate need of someone new, someone fresh, someone completely dedicated to the constituents of the Commonwealth," Schilling wrote. "While I think I would be all three, it's a 24 hour a day, 7 day a week, 365 day a year job and 38 Studios, my family, ALS and Shade are the things that I need to commit my time to right now."
Schilling had been considering a run on the Republican ticket, though he had called his entry into the race unlikely. He had earlier said he had been approached by Republican party leaders, including John McCain, about a run.
Despite his on-the-field heroics – Schilling's bloody sock performances in 2004 playoffs immediately entered Red Sox lore – the outspoken pitcher is surprisingly unpopular in liberal-leaning Massachusetts. A Suffolk University poll out last week (PDF) found that just 29 percent of respondents viewed him favorably, while 39 percent viewed him unfavorably.
In a September 5th blog post headlined "What I Believe," Schilling wrote that he is "pro-life," opposed to gay marriage, and "absolutely for the 2nd Amendment." He added, regarding the latter: "But I also think this country has become so beholden to special interest and lobbyists that we have completely sacrificed the safety and well being of the individual American citizen. Why should our Police Officers have to worry about automatic weapons? What logically thinking human would think it's ok that a 'citizen' to carry a weapon capable of discharging 1000 rounds a minute?"
Schilling campaigned in New Hampshire for George W. Bush and McCain in the past two presidential election cycles, and has regularly called into Boston radio shows to discuss his opinions. Questions had been raised about whether he was eligible to run for the Republican nomination because he is registered as an independent.
Massachusetts is holding primaries in December and a general election in January to replace Kennedy. Governor Deval Patrick is expected to soon appoint an interim senator to serve until then.
More on Massachusetts Senate race: Candidate a Former Nude Centerfold