Sunday, December 17, 2006

Virginia analysis (12/17/06)

Two days ago, John Warner announced that he was "leaning in favor" of running for a sixth term in the U.S. Senate. While this doesn't surprise anybody, it does give pundits (such as myself) more of a grip on the race at hand. With Warner now presumably not being challenged by anybody in his own party's primary, let us look to the Democratic side. The obvious frontrunner, if he so chooses to run, would be Ex-Governor Mark Warner. His October announcement that he is not going to run for President set off a firestorm of predictions for his future, including a possible run for either the Senate in 2008 or a second term in the Governor's mansion in 2009. Lesser known, but probably more likely, candidates include Congressman Rick Boucher, State Senator Creigh Deeds, and Congressman Bobby Scott. If it's Warner v. Warner, in a rematch of 1996, look for (Mark) Warner to be favored. Otherwise, this is a toss-up. George Allen's surprising 2006 Senate loss thrust Virginia into the solidly-purple column, and it will show in this race as well as the 2008 presidential race.


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