Saturday, September 06, 2008

Montana U.S. Senate Race

Race of the Day

Montana U.S. Senate

September 6, 2008
59 Days Until Election Day

Status: Democrat Incumbent
2004 Presidential Result: Red State (West)

Outlook: Safe Democrat

Despite the fact that Big Sky County can often skew towards Republicans, the GOP was not overly optimistic about their chances against veteran Democrat Senator Max Baucus. He had last faced a stiff challenge back in 1996 and won a close race and in 2002 had a much easier contest. This year was expected to be no exception, with all really big names in the state declining to make the race. However, a couple respectable Republicans, who had establishment support in the state were running to oppose the Senator.

Everyone was thrown for a loop though at the beginning of June when the state's primary election provided some surprising results. The touted Democrat candidate for the state's lone Congressional seat was defeated by what was considered a far weaker candidate, In the Senate Republican primary, the winner was an 85 year old attorney and liberal activist who had become a perennial office seeker in Montana, and someone who is also likely to have the weirdest eyebrows in the history of politics. In his 16th attempt to win elected office, Bob Kelleher became the Republican nominee for U.S. Senate. He did apparently once win a long-ago race to serve at the Montana Constitutional Convention.

In a primary election where average people were likely not paying attention, Kelleher probably benefitted from the fact that a lot of people may have simply recognized his name on the ballot from so many previous futile campaigns. Considering the fact that Kelleher has in the past supported a non-violent revolution of the U.S. government and that he seems to be well to the left of the incumbent Baucus, the nominee the Republicans are stuck with, is not going to be getting much in regards to party support. His victory in the primary certainly left a lot of red faces in what could be a red state.

Montana Republican Party (they do have Kelleher included on their website, sort of a surpise to me. They may have an obligation to link to him, but I do not have to)

2008 U.S. Senate races predicted: 8 D, 11 R
Predicted Senate balance of power thus far: 47 D, 37 R


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