Senator Baucus defeated Kelleher as a Democratic incumbent running in a year that was very successful for his party in general. The Montana Senate race was somewhat unusual, in that it was perhaps the only race that year in which the Republican candidate was more liberal than the Democratic one. Kelleher, a perennial candidate and eccentric figure in Montana politics, took many positions that were highly unorthodox by GOP standards, such as favoring more liberal drug control policies, supporting universal healthcare and affirmative action, and favoring fair trade restrictions. He was, at the time, an 85-year-old attorney and perennial candidate who has run for office on several different party tickets. Kelleher was pro-life, advocated a Parliamentary system of government for the United States, and supported nationalization of the American oil and gas industry and a single-payer health care system. He received no support from the Montana Republican Party.