Numerous political insiders around Washington consider Allen to be in the race and expect him to make an official announcement soon.
Webb won by a razor thin margin in 2006 and has not yet announced whether he will run for re-election in 2012. DNC Chairman Tim Kaine is a former Virginia governor who many look to as a possible Democratic nominee if Webb were to back out.
In 2006 the race between Webb and Allen became one of the closest watched in the country. At the time Allen was a popular incumbent Senator who was also thought of as a potential candidate for the 2008 Republican presidential nomination. However, Allen found himself the subject of a political firestorm after referring to a young Indian-American Webb supporter as "macaca." The word is an ethnic slur used by white colonists in North Africa, the birthplace of Allen's mother.
Yet, even with the "macaca" story dogging him for final weeks of the campaign, Allen only lost to Webb by .39 percent in a cycle dominated by Democratic candidates. Virginia has since elected Republican Governor Bob McDonnell to the statehouse in a landslide victory and many think Allen, who is also a former governor of the Old Dominion, would be a formidable candidate.
One candidate has already entered the race for the senate seat. Tea Party candidate Jamie Radtke, a mother of three from a Richmond suburb, announced she'll seek the Republican nomination.