Democratic incumbent: Max Baucus
Republican candidate: Robert Kelleher
Baucus, 66, has been in the Senate since 1978. But easily his greatest claim to fame was achieved during 1959 and 1960, when he attended my alma mater, Carleton College. He did not graduate from that institution, but he redeemed himself to some extent, by earning bachelors and law degrees from a reasonably competent West Coast school. Baucus served in the state House of Representatives from 1973 to 1974, and in the U.S. House from 1975 to 1978. He currently chairs the Senate Committee on Finance.
Kelleher, 85, has run unsuccessfully for several offices.
Real Clear Politics shows one poll, with a 33-point lead for Baucus.
No Republican has been elected to this seat since the constitutional amendment providing for direct election of senators took effect in 1914. Montana's other seat was held for three terms by Republican Conrad Burns, until he was defeated by Democrat Jon Tester in 2006.