The latest poll from Public Policy Polling, a democratic polling firm, shows Rick Hill with the strongest numbers on the Republican side.
Nonetheless, a liberal blog with The Washington Post says State Sen. Jeff Essmann (R-Billings) would “jump to the head of the line” if he decides to enter the 2012 gubernatorial race in Montana.
Here’s more from The Fix:
2. Montana (D-2012): We are still waiting for state Attorney General Steve Bullock (D) to pull the trigger. If he does, this is a competitive race and Democrats may even have a slight edge; if he doesn’t, it may be the most likely Republican takeover of the bunch. But Democratic sources still expect him to get in the race. The one saving grace for Democrats as they wait for Bullock is that the GOP field is still unsettled and features no big names (though state Senate Majority Leader Jeff Essmann is considering tossing his name in the mix and would likely jump to the head of the line). Lt. Gov. John Bohlinger (R) is also weighing his options, but it’s not clear which primary he would run in or that he’s inclined to run at all. While a Republican, he has twice been the running mate of a Democratic governor (Schweitzer) and doesn’t seem convinced he can win a GOP primary. (Previous ranking: 3)
Bullock would give Democrats the edge? Where does The Fix get that from? Not even the latest poll from a Democratic firm says Bullock would have the edge.
Essmann, however, is highly respected among GOP voters, especially after his role in crafting major legislative victories. Some wondered why Essmann didn’t take a more leading role in the legislature. That being said, the early numbers- at least according to Democratic polling firm PPP– show Hill with the early advantage.
Saturday, June 25, 2011 9:01 AM
What. A. Crock. Is D.C. 2,000 miles from Montana or is it in another galaxy?? Rick Hill all but has the nomination sewn up. He’s been running for over a year and leads in fundraising by a mile, and contrary to the above statements, as a former Congressman, has far better statewide name i.d. than Jeff Essmann.
The only other explanation for such a stupid statement is that Bullock would much rather run against Essmann than Rick Hill, so some of his henchmen are trying to build up Essmann.