You no doubt have seen by now that Public Policy Polling, a national polling firm, released a poll measuring a hypothetical Baucus-Schweitzer primary contest. The poll shows that Schweitzer would beat Baucus by twenty points. Nate Silver wrote today in the New York Times that such a primary face-off might present a rare situation where a primary challenge against an incumbent could significantly help, rather than hurt, a party’s chances to retain a Senate seat.
I hate to throw water on it, but my take has always been that such a matchup will never occur. Baucus will either run uncontested with Schweitzer moving on to another career; or, if Schweitzer does decide to jump in, Baucus will jump out. A third scenario is that Baucus jumps out even without Schweitzer running, to take a job as a judge or ambassador. Any of these three scenarios are plausible. That being said, the fourth scenario, an all out war, would be great news for bloggers if nothing else.