Larry J. Sabato and Kyle Kondik with The University of Virginia Center for Politics have their latest rankings out for the nation’s gubernatorial races. As they look into the crystal ball, Montana leans Republican in 2012.
Montana: A prime gubernatorial pick-up opportunity for the Republicans in 2012, Montana is a Red state with a popular term-limited, two-term governor, Democrat Brian Schweitzer. Ex-Rep. Rick Hill is the likely Republican nominee, and he is the November favorite at the moment, especially considering that any mainstream GOP presidential candidate will likely win Big Sky country by a wide margin. The Democrat who could probably give Hill the best race is Attorney General Steve Bullock, assuming he makes a final decision to run. Lt. Gov. John Bohlinger, a one-time Republican who ran as Schweitzer’s running mate on a fusion ticket, might also be a credible Democratic nominee. No doubt Bullock or Bohlinger would position himself as the natural successor to Schweitzer, who has handled the recent oil spill in Montana with aplomb. This contest is a late starter but could get interesting. For now, Leans Republican
Here’s a link to all the rankings.
Oh, and for any of you that were like me, and wondered what he meant by the word “aplomb,” here’s a www.webster.com definition:
Definition of APLOMB
: complete and confident composure or self-assurance : poise
I seriously had to look that definition up. While the Governor has gotten national attention for his harsh criticism of Exxon, Sen. Tester (a fellow Democrat) has been much more mild. Meanwhile, the legislative delegation from the actual spill area in Laurel, albeit mostly Republicans, have been highly critical of the Governor’s response, suggesting his actions threaten jobs in the area.