Interest in who will replace termed-out Gov. Brian Schweitzer in 2012 continues to generate national attention. Politico, citing recent internal Democratic polling numbers, bumped the race to the top spot in its monthly look at the nation's "most competitive races."
Attorney General Steve Bullock is expected to be the Democratic nominee. Former U.S. Rep. Rick Hill is the most recognizable name in a crowded Republican primary field.
1. Montana (up 1 spot)
Democrats released an internal poll to demonstrate they have netted a candidate who can win the open seat being vacated by term-limited Gov. Brian Schweitzer. That state Attorney General Steve Bullock led by only 4 percentage points in the Project New West survey was less relevant than the larger message behind it: He can compete with former GOP Rep. Rick Hill and enjoys greater name recognition and favorability. While Hill may be the front-runner, he still has to navigate a muddled, nine-man primary field.
Who won October: Bullock