On Monday, the popular (and term-limited) Montana governor Steve Bullock is running for Senate this fall in a bid to unseat Republican Sen. Steve Daines:

Bullock had met with both former President Barack Obama and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer in recent weeks, which perhaps contributed to his decision to run.

Daines is only a one-term incumbent and Bullock enjoys high favorability numbers in the state, which suggests this could be a competitive race in the fall:

More than half (54 percent) of Montanans felt the state is headed in the right direction while just 29 percent believe it is headed in the wrong direction. A majority of all political affiliations were optimistic with 64 percent of Democrats, 51 percent of Republicans and 53 percent of independents expressing the opinion the state was headed in the right direction.

For Democrats hoping to pick up a Senate majority this fall, Bullock’s decision is especially significant. The Democrats likely need to win five seats from the Republicans this fall as they currently have 46 seats and likely will lose Doug Jones’s Alabama seat this November. With Bullock’s decision to join the race, Democrats may now be thinking that Montana joins North Carolina, Maine, Colorado, and Arizona as being seats they might be able to flip this fall. Given that all the other Democrats up for reelection are likely safe, those five states would be enough to give the Democrats 50 seats and, assuming a Biden victory, control of both chambers of congress and the White House.

Posted by Jake Meador

Jake Meador is the editor-in-chief of Mere Orthodoxy and author of "In Search of the Common Good: Christian Fidelity in a Fractured World." He is a 2010 graduate of the University of Nebraska-Lincoln where he studied English and History. He lives in Lincoln, NE with his wife Joie, their daughter Davy Joy, and sons Wendell, Austin, and Ambrose. Jake's writing has appeared in Commonweal, Christianity Today, Fare Forward, the University Bookman, Books & Culture, First Things, National Review, Front Porch Republic, and The Run of Play.