Yesterday, Prof. Larry Sabato was on Cavuto’s show to talk about the midterm elections. He said at the time that Democrats had all but written off the seats currently held by South Dakota’s Tim Johnson and West Virginia’s Jay Rockefeller. Republicans need to pick up a net of 6 seats in 2014 to regain the majority in the Senate. According to this post, that possibility just got a little more likely:
Popular former Gov. Brian Schweitzer says he will not run for Montana’s open U.S. Senate seat in 2014.The Democrat tells The Associated Press on Saturday he doesn’t want to leave Montana and go to Washington, D.C.
Schweitzer says he felt compelled to consider the race because many in his party said they needed him to run. He was considered the best chance Democrats have to hold onto the seat being vacated by U.S. Sen. Max Baucus next year.
Schweitzer had led the GOP candidate in early polling. His decision essentially ends the Democrats’ chances of holding Sen. Baucus’s seat. Coupled with the Johnson and Rockefeller seats, the Republicans are half the way to retaking the Senate majority.
In a February poll from Democratic-aligned Public Policy Polling, Schweitzer led Baucus in a potential primary match-up, and while Baucus trailed some of his potential GOP opponents, Schweitzer polled stronger.
Baucus had a difficult time the last time he ran for re-election. After writing a significant portion of the Senate version of the PPACA, Sen. Baucus’s popularity had dropped significantly.
At this point, no other Democrat is positioned to win that statewide race. The only positive that comes out of this news is that the DSCC can focus more of its money and GOTV operations on the other tight races.