One glimpse of the future

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Public Policy Polling sure makes it fun to think about races that remain a few months, a year, three years or even five years away. It'd be silly to sink too much thought into the latest round of data — after all, so much can change — but there are still some interesting numbers.

For instance, current Gov. Brian Schweitzer would lead current U.S. Sen. Max Baucus 51-35 in a hypothetical 2014 primary contest. That's not surprising when you dig down further into the survey. Schweitzer is one of the most popular governors in the country with 55% of voters approving of him to 33% who disapprove, while Baucus is one of the least popular Senators in the country. Only 37% of voters approve of him; 51% disapprove.

But if Schweitzer runs for the White House two years later, he might have a tougher time winning his own state in the general election. 47% say they would not vote for him, and only 32% say they would.

Beyond the races, PPP also surveyed voters about certain issues. They found Montana voters don't support the goals of either Occupy Wall Street (33/44) or the Tea Party (40/44). Voters in the state "also oppose gay marriage by a 51/37 margin. But when you add civil unions to the mix, 62% support some form of legal recognition for gay couples to only 35% who think there shouldn't be any at all."

Oh, and our favorite MLB team is the Seattle Mariners. Favorite NFL team? The Cheeseheads, but I think we already knew that.

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