Elizabeth Warren's visit to West Virginia raised more than $100,000 for Democratic Senate candidate Natalie Tennant last week, a campaign source said -- on top of the $50,000 Warren raised with a fundraising email sent on Tennant's behalf earlier this year.
Warren campaigned for Tennant last week in the Eastern Panhandle of West Virginia -- one of the most liberal areas of this otherwise conservative state. In some ways, Warren was an odd choice: She supports Obama administration environmental policies that critics say are devastating the coal industry that the state relies on.
But Warren has undeniable appeal among the party's progressive base; after her West Virginia trip, she went on to a rock star welcome at the liberal Netroots Nation conference in Detroit. And Tennant campaign aides privately say the fundraising haul helps prove the visit was a success.
The money helps because Tennant is far behind her Republican opponent, Rep. Shelley Moore Capito, in fundraising. And many observers say this seat--held by retiring Democratic Sen. Jay Rockefeller--is likely already lost to the GOP.
But national Democrats are urging the party's major contributors to contribute to Tennant's campaign, arguing that the seat is still in play.
"Democrats can win here," DSCC executive director Guy Cecil wrote to donors in a memo obtained by NBC News, arguing that the state's Democratic registration advantage and relatively cheap media markets mean that Tennant can win her uphill battle. "I encourage you to keep a watchful eye on Natalie Tennant's race," he wrote.