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Reports Offer First 2012 Glimpse

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Sen. Herb Kohl's intentions for 2012 are clear after a $1 million campaign loan.

Connecticut Reps. Christopher Murphy and Joe Courtney could face off in a Democratic primary, with Murphy already running and Courtney considering it. Murphy, who won a competitive re-election race last year, had just $30,000 to start the year, while Courtney had $236,000. Whoever wins the Democratic primary is likely to be favored in the general election in the heavily Democratic state, although Republicans say they plan to target the state and make the race competitive. 

Sen. John Ensign (R-Nev.) maintains that he is running for re-election, but more legal fees and little fundraising left him with just $225,000 at the end of December — not a strong position for an embattled incumbent. Potential rivals Reps. Dean Heller (R) and Shelley Berkley (D) had $815,000 and nearly $1.1 million, respectively.

As Roll Call reported Monday, Rep. Denny Rehberg (R-Mont.) will announce Saturday his challenge to Sen. Jon Tester (D), who is among several from the class of 2006 that are facing top challenges next year. Both had just more than $550,000 in the bank to start the year, and insiders in the state are expecting a spending spree by the candidates and outside groups in what is expected to be one of the cycle’s marquee races.

Looking to escape the same fate that former Sen. Bob Bennett (R-Utah) suffered last year, Sen. Orrin Hatch (R-Utah) raised $416,000 last quarter and has more than $2.5 million in the bank. Rep. Jason Chaffetz (R), a potential convention/primary challenger, started the year with $140,000 on hand.

Mackenzie Weinger and Erin Mershon contributed to this report.

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