(WASHINGTON) -- Democrats might have lost their best chance at retaining a U.S. Senate seat from Montana when former Gov. Brian Schweitzer announced over the weekend that he would not vie for the seat being vacated next year by Sen. Max Baucus.
Schweitzer's reason for bypassing a chance to go to Washington is that he doesn't want to leave Montana. This further complicates Democrats' attempts at holding onto control of the U.S. Senate in 2015. Besides Baucus, there are a number of other Democrats who've opted out of running for reelection in their respective states.
Currently, Democrats have a 53-47 advantage in the Senate but even at that, they've been vulnerable to GOP filibusters whereby at least 60 votes are needed to advance certain legislation.
Brad Dayspring, a spokesman for the National Republican Senatorial Committee, said that Schweitzer's decision was not entirely unexpected because the former governor allegedly "realized he couldn’t win in light of how unpopular the Democratic agenda of higher taxes, bankrupting spending, and the Obamacare train wreck is in Montana these days."
However, Democrats aren't ready to throw in the towel just yet in Montana, which, even as it votes Republican in national elections, often picks the other party in senate and gubernatorial races.
Montana junior Sen. Jon Tester said, "Just because this year wasn’t the right time for Brian to run doesn’t mean we don’t have great Montana Democrats who are willing to run and capable of winning the seat."
Copyright 2013 ABC News Radio