Montana’s Senator Baucus retiring


VoteThe Democratic Party already was facing a challenging 2014 election cycle before the retirement announcements started flowing. Sen. Max Baucus (D-MT) is the latest to give up his seat after the conclusion of his current term.

Already headed for the exits on the Democratic side are Jay Rockefeller (D-WV), Tom Harkin (D-IA), Frank R. Lautenberg (D-NJ) and Carl Levin (D-MI).

So far the Republicans are only losing two: Saxby Chambliss (R-GA) and Mike Johanns (R-NE).

Here’s the list of all the senators who hold seats up for a vote in 2014.
Retiring Republicans:
Saxby Chambliss (R-GA)
Mike Johanns (R-NE)
Retiring Democrats:
Tom Harkin (D-IA)
Max Baucus (D-MT)
Carl Levin (D-MI)
Frank R. Lautenberg (D-NJ)
Tim Johnson (D-SD)
John D. Rockefeller IV (D-WV)
Republicans up for re-election:
Jeff Sessions (R-AL)
James E. Risch (R-ID)
Pat Roberts (R-KS)
Susan M. Collins. (R-ME)
Thad Cochran (R-MS)
James M. Inhofe. (R-OK)
Lindsey Graham (R-SC)
Lamar Alexander (R–TN)
John Cornyn (R-TX)
Michael B. Enzi. (R-WY)
Democrats up for re-election:
Mark Begich (D-AK)
Mark L.Pryor (D-AR)
Mark Udall (D-CO)
Christopher A. Coons (D-DE)
Mitch McConnell (R-KY)
Richard J. Durbin (D-IL)
Mary L. Landrieu (D-LA)
William M. Cowan (D-MA) terms ends upon conclusion of special election
Al Franken (D-MN)
Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH)
Tom Udall (D-NM)
Kay R. Hagan (D-NC)
Jeff Merkley (D-OR)
Jack Reed (D-RI)
Mark R. Warner (D-VA)

RBR-TVBR observation: It’s another battleground year for Montana. A strong but unsuccessful effort was made to oust Sen. Jon Tester (D-MT) in 2012. We suspect an equally strong effort by Republicans and Republican-supporting PACs in 2014, while the Democrats do whatever they can to hold the seat with a fresh face.

There will be no love lost between Baucus and a number of purist Democratic supporters – Baucus has frequently voted with his Republican colleagues, most recently in opposition to the gun purchase background check bill that was unable to reach the 60-vote threshold.

However, Democratic strategists understand the value of having a D-MT rather than an R-MT assignation – Baucus adds to the Democratic total when figuring out which committee leaders are chairs and which are ranking members.

For that reason both parties want this seat, so broadcasters can expect a healthy dose of campaign advertising money flowing into the state if the race is even remotely competitive.