In it, but not of it. TPM DC

North Dakota GOP Governor Expected To Run For Dorgan's Seat

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Newscom

I asked Jones if he thought there was any significant chance that Hoeven wouldn't make the race. His response: "No, absolutely not."

Potential Democratic candidates include Rep. Earl Pomeroy, who has been elected statewide to North Dakota's single House seat since 1992, and even MSNBC liberal talk show host Ed Schultz.

Even before Dorgan announced his retirement, a Rasmussen poll in December suggested that Hoeven would have defeated Dorgan in a possible match-up, while Dorgan would have beaten a different GOP candidate. So Hoeven definitely begins the general election race as the frontrunner.