In a non-presidential 2020 election development, Montana Governor Steve Bullock (D) is poised to challenge Sen. Steve Daines (R-MT) in November. Gov. Bullock insisted after his failed presidential campaign that he had no interest in challenging Sen. Daines. The deadline to file is Monday.
Perhaps the biggest non-presidential moment of the 2020 cycle is upon is.— Jonathan Martin (@jmartNYT) March 4, 2020
And after months of saying he would not run, @GovernorBullock is poised to run against @SteveDaines
w @CatieEdmondson https://t.co/UcUrGh0cBX
Sen. Daines’ seat is a solid one for Republicans, though if Gov. Bullock does enter the race, the seat would be labeled “Lean R” rather than “Solid R.”
Crystal Ball would move MT-SEN from Likely R to Leans R if Gov. Steve Bullock (D) challenges Sen. Steve Daines (R)— Kyle Kondik (@kkondik) March 4, 2020
Gov. Bullock's decision to run, if executed, will be quite the reversal of his previous rhetoric on a Senate run. Similarly to former presidential candidate John Hickenlooper, who is now also running for Senate in Colorado, Gov. Bullock expressed zero interest in trying his hand at a Senate run. Gov. Bullock categorically denied any interest in running for the upper chamber:
"An absolute no," Bullock said of any potential Senate run in a CNN Townhall.
Gov. Bullock is likely a recruit of Sen. Schumer, who seeks to flip the Senate majority in November, as the National Republican Senatorial Committee (NRSC) points out:
.@chuckschumer threatened Supreme Court Justices Gorsuch and Kavanaugh. Do these candidates agree?@DougJones@CaptMarkKelly@Hickenlooper@GreenfieldIowa@AmyMcGrathKY@SaraGideon@SenJerryPeters@CalforNC@JeanneShaheen@mjhegar@GovernorBullock https://t.co/J4AtVDyAlQ— The Senate Majority (@NRSC) March 5, 2020
.@GovernorBullock wouldn't be running for Senate to represent and fight for Montanans. It would be because @chuckschumer told him to. Hope there's room in the #windowlessbasement. #mtsen #mtpol https://t.co/S7EGEqpPwr— The Senate Majority (@NRSC) March 5, 2020
Republicans have a few seats seen as vulnerable to defend, but also may flip seats held by Democrats in Alabama and Michigan. Sen. Schumer and the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee (DSCC), however, have an uphill battle to flip seats that President Trump won in 2016.