George Allen (R-VA) is rumored to want a change of residence from Capitol Hill to 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue. If so, he’s got a ways to go. But, signs point to Allen beginning to stretch his legs for the long march to 2008.
In 2000, Allen set up “Good Government for America PAC,” his leadership PAC, which interestingly once was the name of the PAC belonging to the popular conservative senator from Georgia, Paul Coverdell. In the 2000 election cycle Allen spent $203,466.00 with a candidate contribution total of $99,554. In the 2002 election cycle, the expenditure amount rose to $377,373.00 with a candidate contribution total of $209,500.00. In the 2004 election cycle, Allen’s PAC spent $647,244.00, but only gave candidate contributions in the amount of $162,500.00, a decrease of $47,000.00. During that time, Allen also served as the head of the Republican Senators’ campaign engine, the National Republican Senatorial Committee (“NRSC”) and was able to fund Republicans across the nation with that tool.
Perhaps most telling, in 2000 and 2002, Allen’s Leadership PAC ended the campaign cycle with less than $100,000.00 on hand. At the end of 2004, Allen still had on hand $210,542.00 and is rumored to be back out raising money for the PAC aggressively. With both his own election in 2006, and the need to build loyalty among potential future supporters, Allen will need to hoard his dollars and give strategically. It will be interesting to see how much of his money begins to flow to places like South Carolina, New Hampshire, and Iowa over the next two years.
Allen does have one lagging gap. Contributions to his Leadership PAC come mostly from Virginia. That should be expected because it is his base. However, Virginia does not win national elections alone. Allen needs to start expanding the reach of his PAC on the contributor side and targeting strategically on the expenditure side.
So far Allen is giving every indication that he’ll be a 2008 Presidential candidate. Right now though, he smartly shows all the signs of a man running hard for re-election in Virginia.