Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Mark Warner Piles Up The Early Cash

Holy smokes, Mark Warner has already raised $1.1 million to finance his bid for the open Senate seat being vacated by retiring Senator John Warner. (See "Kaine, Warner Pile Up Donations")

Meanwhile, Republicans are trying to stack the deck for the nomination of former Governor Jim Gilmore, who briefly--and invisibly--ran for President. (So it's likely to be a race between two former Virginia governors, both of whom dropped out of the Presidential race.) Gilmore's opponent for the GOP nomination is Congressman Tom Davis, a more moderate Republican from northern Virginia. The Party has decided to select its nominee in a convention, which will be stuffed with conservative party members, rather than a primary that would be open to more moderate independent voters, thereby favoring the conservative Gilmore.

All of which looks good for Warner, along with early polls showing him with a commanding lead over either Republican opponent.

But then, think how George Allen felt about his prospects about this time two years ago: piles of moola in the bank, wide lead in the polls, Democrats divided over who to nominate out of two not very well known contenders, and Allen's name being bandied about as a strong presidential contender.

And look how that turned out.

So let's not make any assumptions about this race yet. Warner will need to work hard, raise money and avoid any kind of macaca moment.

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