The ranking Republican on the Senate Banking Committee, Alabama's Richard Shelby, has built a campaign chest of nearly $15 million that's likely to buy him an easy ride in next year's election.
The 75-year-old senator has no announced opposition in either party. And it's growing increasingly unlikely that a big-name democrat will enter the race.
Alabama Democratic Party Chairman Joe Turnham says well-known candidates are looking at other races that are more politically viable. He says Shelby's campaign chest is "nearly an economic stimulus of its own."
Shelby is a four-term senator who attributes his success to working hard in Washington and returning home to Alabama a lot.