Senate Update: Baucus Leaving Could Be Blessing in Plain Sight

So maybe Brian Schweitzer really is senile enough for the U.S. Senate.

After the retirement of Sen. Max Baucus (D-MT) earlier this week, the former Democratic governor is certainly at the top of the Democrats’ wish list to run for the now-open seat. Schweitzer, who was very popular during his recently concluded two-term governorship, has repeatedly thrown cold water on the idea of serving in Congress: “I am not goofy enough to be in the House, and I’m not senile enough to be in the Senate,” he has said. But after the Baucus news broke, Schweitzer told John Adams of the Great Falls Tribune that, “I’m not ruling anything out, and I’m not ruling anything in.”

Baucus retiring has prompted us to move this race from “leans Democratic” to “toss-up,” but if Schweitzer runs for the seat, he will start as the favorite. [cont.]

Kyle Kondik, U.Va. Center for Politics