Chuck Grassley may be expected to play a big role in fundraising for Republican senate candidates, if you follow Kos's logic.
The mighty Markos Moulitsas Zúniga, überblogger of the left, looks at National Republican Senate Campaign Committee chair John Ensign's statement that Republicans will match the Democrat's $44.8 million television buy in targeted Senate races, and contrasts that with the NRSC's $24.6 million in the bank.
Kos then, race by race, looks at the 49 Republican senators, and the tough races this year:
Incumbents in Alaska, Oregon, Minnesota, Maine, New Hampshire, Kentucky, North Carolina, and Mississippi (Wicker) face top-tier challengers. That brings things down to 36 incumbents who might be able to give. But incumbents in Kansas, Oklahoma, Texas, and Georgia face second-tier challengers who could potentially become more competitive. So they need to hold on to their cash just in case (though Cornyn in Texas recently transfered $250,000 to the NRSC). So other than Cornyn, that's three more incumbents who should hold on to their cash tightly. That's 33 incumbents left. McCain is running for president and has his own money problems. That's 32.
After going through another process of elimination for 2010, Kos concludes that a mere 15 GOP senators will have to carry the fundraising ball for the team.
Kos may be right, but he may not go far enough. Let me extend.
Take away the six remaining Republican senators who have races this year, even if relatively easy (Sessions, Cochran, Barasso, Enzi, Alexander, Graham), and cut that 15 to a mere nine.
Some of those nine have home state fires to tend to. Mike Crapo is looking at the toughest year Idaho Republicans have ever seen, Olympia Snowe's Maine colleague Susan Collins is in a tough fight, Kit Bond is looking at the Missouri GOP losing the governor's mansion and maybe Kenny Hulshof's House seat, and Dick Lugar could yet be faced with Evan Bayh on the Democratic ticket.
Ensign himself has to run the show. So that leaves Richard Shelby, Orrin Hatch, freshman Bob Corker... and Iowa's own Chuck Grassley.
As of June 30, Grassley, not up for re-election for two years, had $2,730,430 cash on hand. Federal Elections Commission reports show no donations yet this cycle (also through June 30) from Grassley's committee to the NRSC.
Grassley anted up the last two cycles, though it was a little later. In 2004, when Grassley himself was running for re-election against long-shot Democrat Art Small, he made two donations to the NRSC totalling $300,000 in October. In 2006, a series of five contributions beginning in August added up to $227,000.