POLITICO has learned that Allen, the Republican who was ousted from his seat in 2006 by now-Democratic Sen. Jim Webb, recently huddled with National Republican Senatorial Committee Chairman John Cornyn to discuss a prospective bid. He is also burnishing his profile through a series of public events, spreading cash through his political action committee and has even launched a Facebook page.

According to one source familiar with Allen’s efforts, he sent a strong signal to other ambitious state pols by informing GOP members of the Virginia congressional delegation in early 2010 that he was thinking of running for Senate…

Among those mentioned as potential primary opponents are House Minority Whip Eric Cantor and state Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli. Allen’s entry into the race would complicate any statewide ambitions for Cantor, who is also in line to become majority leader in the event of a Republican takeover of the House on Election Day. Cantor is unlikely to challenge Allen in a head-to-head matchup, said sources close to the GOP lawmaker.