Sen. Max Baucus To Retire In 2014
According to reports Montana Senator Max Baucsus will be the latest Senator to announce his retirement from the Senate at the end of the current term:
Montana Sen. Max Baucus will not seek reelection in 2014, becoming the latest senior red-state Democrat to bail out of a potentially difficult reelection campaign, a senior Democratic official confirmed to POLITICO.
Baucus, the chairman of the Senate Finance Committee, had nearly $5 million in the bank at the end of the first quarter but was expected to face a tough fight in his GOP-leaning home state.
Democratic strategists say that former Gov. Brian Schweitzer, a populist two-term statewide official, is leaning toward running for the open seat.
The retirement was first reported by the Washington Post.
Baucus joins colleagues Tim Johnson of South Dakota, Tom Harkin of Iowa, Jay Rockefeller of West Virginia, Carl Levin of Michigan and Frank Lautenberg of New Jersey in exiting the 2014 race. His Montana seat is likely to be one of the toughest on that list for Democrats to defend.
A February survey from the Democratic firm Public Policy Polling found that Baucus was polling in the mid-40s and trailing both GOP Rep. Steve Daines and former Gov. Marc Racicot in general election matches.Schweitzer was effectively tied with both top-tier Republicans in the same poll, leading Daines by 3 points and trailing Racicot by 1
We’ll likely get some more retirements as 2014 gets closer, but probably not as many as we had two years ago. Nonetheless, as noted, this Montana seat will be a tough one for Democrats to defend in an open race, which is why Schweitzer, a popular former two-term Governor, is probably their best bet.