From NBC's Ken Strickland and Elizabeth Wilner
Democrats nabbed the Virginia governorship in 2005 and one of the state's two Republican-held Senate seats in 2006, but their chances of snagging the other in 2008 will hinge to a large degree on whether Sen. John Warner (R) seeks re-election or not. For several reasons, including his age (he'll be 80 in February) and the fact that he's having to give up the top GOP slot on the Senate Armed Services Committee, Warner was thought to be considering retirement in 2008. But now he has informed his party's leadership in writing that he is "strongly considering" seeking another term -- precisely because Democrats have been racking up wins in his home state.
In a letter to Senate Republican leaders about committee assignments, Warner says the 2006 election results weighed heavily on him: "Given its forceful impact on Virginia, I am now strongly considering running for reelection to the Senate in 2008."
Should Warner seek re-election, we could see a repeat of the Warner-vs-Warner face-off we saw between the Senate Republican and then-tech entrepreneur Mark Warner (D) in 1996. Since then, Mark Warner has gotten a successful term as governor under his belt, as well as a fledgling run for president in 2008, which he ended a few months ago. Such a rematch would be a battle of the titans.