Top 5 Races to Watch in the Mountain Region

There are many wide-open spaces but few competitive races in the Rocky Mountain West. Even though the important contests are few, they could be good indicators of which party has the upper hand next fall.

Here are the top five races to watch in the Mountain region:

Montana Senate. Former Gov. Brian Schweitzer accounted for his party’s A, B, and C plans for recruitment in this state, so Democratic strategists were willing to wait for his decision. So his Saturday announcement that he would not run for the seat leaves his party without a candidate and makes this a top pick-up opportunity for Republicans. GOP Rep. Steve Daines seems like a likely candidate, especially with Schweitzer out. Rothenberg Political Report/Roll Call rating: Pending.

Utah’s 4th District. Democratic Rep. Jim Matheson narrowly survived a strong challenge from Saratoga Springs Mayor Mia Love. Democrats can’t fathom how Matheson could lose after winning with Mitt Romney at the top of the ballot. But the race was razor close, and Love will run a better campaign this cycle. Rothenberg Political Report/Roll Call rating: Pure Tossup. Get the full Rothenberg Political Report analysis here ($).

Colorado’s 6th District. Republican Rep. Mike Coffman narrowly survived re-election in this Aurora-based district….

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