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Lee Banville

Though Montana Republicans are united in their all-out aspirations to take back the governor’s office this fall after 16 years in Democratic hands, there’s sharp division over which of the three men running in the party’s primary is the right choice to win in November.

Two national news outlets reported Wednesday that Montana Gov. Steve Bullock, a Democrat who has long sworn off a run for U.S. Senate, is increasingly likely to join the race before the Monday filing deadline.

The Big Sky Poll conducted by the University of Montana is less of a prediction of election outcomes and more of a taking-the-temperature on what voters think of candidates for office in 2020 and elected officials.

Montana Gov. Steve Bullock announced Monday he was dropping out of the Democratic presidential primary, acknowledging he was unlikely to move to the front of the pack as the Iowa caucus and other states’ early primaries loom.

Before Montana Gov. Steve Bullock made his bid for president official at the start of May, each time he hinted at a campaign on social media it was met with a string of replies calling on the two-term Democrat to seek another office in 2020 — one of Montana's U.S. Senate seats.

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