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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Biden is likely to prevail here, but a competitive electoral vote available in the state's 2nd congressional district - won by Trump in 2016 - will draw considerable attention.
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