Allen also might not be alone seeking the nomination. Prince William Chairman Corey Stewart has floated the idea of a campaign for Senate and took a swipe at Allen in the process.
"Sen. Allen was a great governor of Virginia, he really was," Stewart said on a Washington-area television program. "But his record in the United States Senate was mediocre. And I don't think most people in Virginia think of him as a great United States senator. They think of him as a great governor."
Indeed, contested primary races could again be an issue for Republicans in 2012, just as they were in 2010, when Democrats retained a couple of Senate seats after candidates who were viewed as their most potent GOP challengers lost their party's primary.