March 9, 2020
Montana Gov. Steve Bullock announced Monday that he will run for Senate this year.
Bullock is unable - due to term limits - from seeking a third term as the state's governor in 2020. He ran for president over the second half of 2019 before dropping out in December. He had previously resisted efforts from within the party to challenge incumbent Republican Sen. Steve Daines, but ultimately acquiesced. Today is the candidate filing deadline in the state.
Bullock's candidacy moves the Senate seat onto the competitive map, with a consensus Leans Republican rating. While still underdogs in this deep red state, it does give Democrats an additional path to pick up the 3 or 4 seats needed to take control in 2021. The number may more realistically be 4 or 5 seats, as the GOP is favored to recapture the Alabama seat in a presidential election year with a popular Republican incumbent on the ballot.
Based on consensus, the four most competitive races are in Arizona, Colorado, Maine and North Carolina. All these seats are GOP-held.
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The forecaster sees Democrats gaining between five and 15 seats in the 2020 election
After swinging sharply to Donald Trump in 2016, the state is among the most competitive in 2020. A closely-contested Senate race may help determine control of that chamber.
Currently at 233 seats - 218 needed - Democrats have a high probability of retaining control after the 2020 election.
The Sunshine State's competitiveness and large electoral bounty will once again play a pivotal role in the 2020 election.
Changes made to the electoral map, as well as to individual races for Senate, House and Governor.