NPR logo He's Raising Little Money; Will Sen. Tom Coburn Run Again?

He's Raising Little Money; Will Sen. Tom Coburn Run Again?

On Friday, we put together a list of the five Senate seats that are most likely to be won by the opposite party in 2010.

We already have a list of those senators who aren't running to keep their seats next year: Ted Kaufman (D-DE), Mel Martinez (R-FL), Sam Brownback (R-KS), Kit Bond (R-MO), Judd Gregg (R-NH) and George Voinovich (R-OH).

And now people in Oklahoma are wondering whether Tom Coburn will join that latter list.

The Oklahoman's Chris Casteel is reporting that Coburn, who first won the seat in 2004, has "raised relatively little money in the first three months of the year as he continued to deliberate on whether to run for a second term." According to FEC filing reports, Coburn took in $17,189 in the first quarter of 2009 and had $57,064 cash on hand at the end of March.

The senator has said repeatedly this year that he hasn't decided whether to run for a second term, and he told The Oklahoman last month that he didn't want to raise money in earnest unless he was definitely going to run.

"Is it unethical to ask people to give you money for an election you're not sure you're going to run in?" Coburn said in March. "I think it is. You're asking people to give you money for something you haven't committed to."

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Casteel also points out that Coburn "said he wasn't worried about raising money, should he decide to run. In 2004, Coburn announced as a candidate months after others. But he still won the GOP nomination without a runoff."

No "name" Democrat has announced a candidacy. That, and Coburn's popularity back home, is why I think there is no reason for him to stockpile cash at this stage. I think he runs again, and I think he wins easily.

More reading: check out Benjamin Domenech's post on Coburn at The New Ledger blog.