The fact that Warner is even considering the race is a major accomplishment for Senate Democrats. In the past, Mark Warner has been adamant that he would not run against Sen. John Warner (R-Va.) due to a personal friendship that blossomed between the two in 2004.
But now Warner (Mark, that is) is refusing to rule out a candidacy whether or not John Warner decides to run for another term. John Warner has said he plans to run again but, as we report in the story, has signaled Rep. Tom Davis (R-Va.) to be ready in the event those plans change.
Ever since Warner was elected governor in 2001, Virginia has grown increasingly competitive between the parties. President Bush carried it with 54 percent in 2004, but Gov. Tim Kaine (D) and Sen. Jim Webb (D) have won the last two statewide elections in the commonwealth.
A Mark Warner candidacy would immediately make Virginia a top Democratic target in the 2008 election. And, while sources close to Mark Warner suggest that the discussions are very preliminary, remember that Schumer has a track record of convincing wavering candidates to make the leap. Remember Sen. Claire McCaskill (D-Mo.)?
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