Public Policy Polling did its polls in Montana and they found some interesting things that might shake up the Senate race there.
Democratic incumbent Senator Max Baucus might be in some trouble. His favorability is 45/48. Those numbers aren’t terrible. But there’s a popular former governor there, Brian Schweitzer who might just run for Senate. Schweitzer’s favorability is 56/37. In a hypothetical Democratic primary Schweitzer leads Baucus 54-35. Baucus might face stiff competition against Republican opponents. They could include congressman Steve Daines (35/31) who leads Baucus 49-44 in a hypothetical matchup, House member Champ Edmuns (4/16) who trails Baucus by 10 points, attorney general Tim Fox (23/23) who trails Baucus by 3 points, former governor Marc Racicot (41/32) who leads Baucus by 5 points, and state Senator Corey Stapleton (15/19) who trails Baucus by 7 points.
Public Policy Polling decided to test the popularity of Brian Schweitzer. While Schweitzer trails Racicot by a point, he leads the other candidates by 3 to 15 points. Baucus looks to be in trouble as the only two candidates who have 50+% recognizing him are beating him. Schweitzer seems to be the safer option.
Public Policy Polling also decided to test former NARAL president Nancy Keenan. Her favorability is 38/26. She leads Edmuns by 5 points and is tied with Stapleton. She trails the others by anywhere from 5 to 12 points.
While Baucus is in trouble, the Senate seat could be a little safer Democratic if Schweitzer runs. Since it’s unclear, for sure, if he will, I will say that this seat is leaning Republican at this time. If Schweitzer runs, it might be a tossup or even lean Democratic.