Warner, a wealthy former businessman, was a popular Virginia governor from 2002 to 2006, then easily won a seat in the Senate in 2008. Now he’s running for reelection and faces former Republican National Committee chairman Ed Gillespie as his likely fall opponent.
Some Democrats doubt he’ll run for president, because his centrist approach in the Senate could make it hard for him to excite liberals, making it difficult to win a presidential primary. Warner was a member of the Senate’s bipartisan Gang of Six – three Democrats, three Republicans – who tried unsuccessfully in 2011 to work out a deficit reduction deal. In 2012, the group expanded into a Gang of Eight, with Warner at its heart, but it was also unsuccessful.