John Warner Retirement Watch: Another Lackluster Fundraiaing Quarter

I've been on the John Warner retirement watch for the past few months, particularly since it emerged that he raised only $500 in the first quarter -- a rather stunning achievement for an incumbent, one that requires deliberate and intentional moves to shun potential donors. Since that time, the signals (for instance here and here) have continued to point to the strong possibility that Warner will not, in the end, run for another term representing Virginia in the Senate. Now The Hotline's Quinn McCord reports that Warner's latest campaign finance filing is not convincing many that he will run this cycle.

2ndQ FEC reports have been filed today for 3 GOP senators widely rumored to be considering retirement in 2008: John Warner, Chuck Hagel, and Larry Craig.

Warner had nowhere to go but up, considering he only raised $500 in the 1stQ, and indeed, his campaign brought in $71K in the 2ndQ ($60K of it from PACs), raising his CoH to $734K. Still, that's nowhere near the amount that an active re-election campaign would have raised at this point, so don't expect those retirement rumors to settle down anytime soon. Craig's fundraising was slightly more active in the 2ndQ ($201K), as was Hagel's ($388K), giving them CoH totals of $549K and $483K respectively. For Hagel, this is an uptick from the $144K that he raised in the 1stQ. (Craig raised $125K in the 1stQ, so he was a bit more active too). As reported earlier, Thad Cochran (also a retirement possibility) raised $312K for the 2ndQ.

Based on these numbers, it seems that most of these senators are merely keeping their options open. With the arguable exception of Warner, they haven't completely shut down their fundraising apparatuses, but they obviously don't feel the need to raise money in earnest yet (i.e. the $1M-$1.6M range that targeted incumbents are raising). Some may simply feel safe enough that they don't believe they need to build sizable war chests to win re-election, while others may indeed be leaning towards retirement.

The fact that Warner raised just $11,000 from individual donors is rather remarkable -- not as much so as raising $500 in total in the previous quarter, but nevertheless remarkable. Warner has, in effect, "completely shut down [his] fundraising [apparatus]."

McCord is correct in suggesting that Warner -- or any of the other two Republican Senators he mentions in the article above -- could turn on the campaign rather quickly and probably raise $1 million or more in a quarter should they decide to run for reelection. But they are going to have to make that decision at some point. And in the absence of any change, it still appears likely that John Warner is about done with Washington and ready to move on with his life.

In other Senate news... The Nashville City Paper's blog takes a look at the rumors apparently flying around Tennessee that freshman Republican Senator Lamar Alexander won't be running for reelection this cycle and instead will potentially accept a position as president of Vanderbilt University. They stress "that does not mean Alexander has even mentioned it but that people at the school are talking his name up" -- but it's still something worth keeping an eye on.

Tags: John Warner, Senate 2008, VA-Sen, Virginia (all tags)



Re: John Warner Retirement Watch: Another Lacklust

Geez ... are things so bad that Republicans are fleeing .. like rats on a ship?  If Alexander does indeed bag it .. is there a good candidate we can run?

by Calvin Jones and the 13th Apostle 2007-07-14 12:17PM | 0 recs
Re: John Warner Retirement Watch: Another Lacklust

To be fair, John Warner is very, very old and unless he wants to take the Thurman/Byrd route and serve in the Senate until he dies, then now seems like the right time to call it quits.

by AC4508 2007-07-14 10:45PM | 0 recs
Re: John Warner Retirement Watch: Another Lacklust

Actually, a lot of Republicans are holding on longer than they wanted to.  There are a significant number of congressman who have wanted to retire over the last election cycle and probably the upcoming one who have hung on for Karl Rove, etc.  There will be a big wave of retirees in '14 and it will hurt the Republican party if the excess senators retire now.  If the excess house members retire in '08 we'll see another big victory.  I think some are holding out till '10, so we could see them take hits in the house then.  

by JeremiahTheMessiah 2007-07-15 02:09AM | 0 recs
by Unabridged 2007-07-14 12:29PM | 0 recs

Sununu is toast. Another poll shows Shaheen is crushing him by 56 to 34.

by areyouready 2007-07-14 12:43PM | 0 recs
After Alexander

     If Alexander were to retire, who would be the likely candidates? Would Harold Ford run again, and if so, would there be a primary contest? There were races for open seats in 2002 and 2006, which produced a number of candidates who might see this as their last shot. Is this something Phil Bredesen would consider?

by Ron Thompson 2007-07-14 01:03PM | 0 recs
Re: After Alexander

why should there be a primary challenger? I like Ford and he was so close to pull off a major upset in deep South. I hope he will run again.

by areyouready 2007-07-14 01:46PM | 0 recs
Re: John Warner

Warner is clearly not running in 08 and you could tell by his fundraising total.

is  Q2 FEC report out yet for the presidential hopefuls??

by JaeHood 2007-07-14 02:05PM | 0 recs
Re: John Warner

Pres. Hopefuls: esidentialpotentials.htm

As soon as they report it to the FEC, it will be on this website.  Granted, the website has a few "possible candidates" on it... You have to check the 'Activity Through'.  If a candidate hasn't filed their second FEC Report yet, it will say "1/1/2007 - 03/31/2007"  if they have reported their second quarter fundraising, it will be "1/1/2007 - 06/30/2007

by JeremiahTheMessiah 2007-07-15 02:12AM | 0 recs
Re: John Warner

Just to comment... I don't think any have reported yet... But they will tomorrow.  So just keep an eye for them to be updated.  

by JeremiahTheMessiah 2007-07-15 02:13AM | 0 recs
Re: John Warner

I feel bad about posting three times in a row here... But I'm tired so my work is sloppy.  I'm not going to lie.  Just after I posted I found a part where it gave a rundown of all the candidates right next to each other.  So far Romney and Giulliani have given their numbers in.  It reports the full half year as one... So you'd have to break off the first quarter fundraising.  

by JeremiahTheMessiah 2007-07-15 02:20AM | 0 recs


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