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Posted at 10:08 AM ET, 02/ 2/2011

Webb's slow fundraising pace draws more attention

By Ben Pershing

Updated 11:47 a.m.
Sen. James Webb's (D) anemic fundraising is drawing increased attention in the national media, as the political world waits to hear whether he will run for re-election in 2012.

As The Fix noted Tuesday, Webb raised just over $12,000 in the fourth quarter of 2010, adding fuel to the persistent belief in some Democratic circles that he doesn't plan to run for a second term. Webb has said repeatedly he would announce a decision in the first quarter of 2011, meaning there could be as much as two more months of speculation before the public knows for sure.

Former Sen. George Allen (R) has already announced he's running to reclaim the seat Webb took from him in 2006, and has been hammering the Democrat on a regular basis. Jamie Radtke, chairwoman of the Virginia Tea Party Patriots Federation, is also running, and at least three other Republicans have expressed an interest in the contest.

Webb's fund-raising has been slow for some time. The Washington Post reported in December that as of Sept. 30, 23 of the 33 senators up for reelection next year had more cash in the bank than Webb did. That was before the fourth quarter -- Webb's slowest one yet.

Webb had $445,000 in the bank at the end of 2010. In a new roundup of the latest numbers, The Fix finds that of 17 "potentially vulnerable" senators in 2012 whose fundraising totals were available, only two had less cash on hand than Webb.

Webb had no particular explanation in December for why his fund-raising was sparse. "I just haven't done any of it," he said, while expressing confidence that he could ramp up and raise the money he would need for 2012 -- likely in excess of $10 million -- if he does decide to run.

But those avowals haven't stopped the scrutiny of Webb's cash woes. The Hill newspaper uses Webb as its primary example in a story Wednesday reporting that vulnerable Democratic senators are lagging in the money department, "a sign that their party could struggle to keep its majority."

Webb's Federal Election Commission report also made USA Today, which quoted Tim Kaine -- the former Virginia governor and current Democratic National Committee chairman -- saying of Webb, "My gut tells me he's going to run." If Webb decides to retire, Kaine would be the most formidable candidate, but he has expressed no interest in a Senate bid.

And National Journal's Hotline On Call blog contrasts Webb's lackluster cash on hand total with those of some other senators up for reelection, including Sen. Scott Brown (R-Mass.), who had $7.2 million in the bank as of Dec. 31.

By Ben Pershing  | February 2, 2011; 10:08 AM ET
Categories:  Ben Pershing, Election 2012, George F. Allen, James Webb  
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Im sure once some looney tea bagger like Radtke wins the republican nomination, donations will come flooding in for Webb.
In anycase, Allen is going to have to waste all his money in a tight republican nomination fight that he'll probably lose and end up financially crippling the winner too.

Webb could win this with a fraction of the money the republicans will have to spend.

Posted by: MarilynManson | February 2, 2011 12:41 PM | Report abuse

Hrmm..lets see.

Webb - Vietnam War Hero

Allen - Chicken Hawk Bigot

Tough choice.

Posted by: mikefromArlington | February 2, 2011 1:04 PM | Report abuse

Mr Webb is one of the few real adults in a senate packed with clueless egomaniacs. I hope he sticks around but is does not look good.

Posted by: devluddite | February 2, 2011 2:33 PM | Report abuse

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