A matchup that for some time has been expected moved light years closer to reality in the great state of Virginia. The retirement of Jim Webb (D-VA) has created an open seat situation, and each party has a former governor of the state primed for the race.
One half of the equation comes in the person of Democratic National Committee Chairman and former Governor Tim Kaine, who has resigned his DNC post to make a run for Webb’s seat, setting up the strong possibility of a dream match-up, if you are either a political junkie or an advertising venue that likes raking in large amounts of cash from political advertising.
The other half of the equation on the Republican side is former Governor George Allen, who also has Senate experience. In fact, Allan is hoping to reclaim the seat he lost to Webb in 2006.
According to the Washington Post, the likely spending from each candidate is in the $20M range.
Allen still has to make it past a number of challengers to receive the Republican nomination to make a run for the seat, but is considered a heavy favorite at this early stage.
Kaine is not expected to face a serious challenge – in fact, his presence in the race is a success story for national Democratic leadership, who identified him as the best possible candidate to put up for the seat almost instantly upon Webb’s retirement announcement.
RBR-TVBR observation: We’re talking two very high profile politicians who know how to build a machine and run a race, in a battleground state with control of the Senate at stake. For broadcasters, the prospects of benefitting from two big campaign advertising budgets amplified by buckets of cash from third party advertisers are enormous.