Here's one scenario that I hear is circulating in Democratic circles:
1. Burns takes the fall for the Abramoff scandal and pulls out of the race.
2. Rehberg runs for Burns' seat.
3. Roy Brown runs for Rehberg's seat.
On first blush, every part of this struck me as implausible. But it's beginning to sound more reasonable.
1. Burns doesn't sound like a guy who's thinking about giving up. Besides, even if he does, it's not clear that the baying dogs would quit howling.
But Todd made the counter case in a comment here to an earlier post.
2. After a few years on the endless fund-raising circus in the House, the Senate must hold at least some appeal to Rehberg. And I presume that he would be the instant favorite.
3. It's never been clear that Brown's assets would translate well to a statewide race. By most accounts, he got elected to the House by knocking on every door in the district. You can't knock on every door in the state, no matter how energetic you are. Treasure County alone would take several hours. On the other hand, he obviously knew how to get the party behind him in the House, and he's certainly ambitious.
Lindeen vs. Brown? I think Brown wins Yellowstone County, but Lindeen might win the race.