MISSOULA, Mont. -

As Democratic Senate candidate Amanda Curtis begins her campaign efforts, opinions remain mixed on her chances to win a seat in the U.S. Senate.

Democrats chose the 34-year-old Butte teacher on Saturday to replace Sen. John Walsh, after Walsh resigned from the race following plagiarism allegations.

Curtis is a first-time state representative.

"You never want to say ‘never’ in politics, but increasingly Montana is off the radar of me and other folks who are covering the broader Senate landscape  map. You know, I think everyone sort of sees this as a Republican pickup at this point," said POLITICO.com national political reporter James Hohmann.

Hohmann has been following the Senate race closely, providing stories for POLITICO, a popular online outlet.

"You need some polling to show that the race is winnable for her, which is going to be tough to come by," said Hohmann.

Hohmann points out that Curtis will need to raise substantial funds quickly, in order to have a chance against a war chest that Daines has had more than a year to build. At last check, Daines’ bank account totaled $1.7 million.

"Daines would have to make a mistake, she would have to exceed expectations, raise a ton of money," said Hohmann.

He added that donors at the national level may allocate their funds to more seemingly-competitive races.

However, some Democrats remain hopeful that Curtis has a real shot at the Senate seat and will raise funds quickly.

"We haven't seen a fighter come out of Butte for a long time and she is a person that can mobilize a lot of Democrats really fast," said Dave Kendall, the chair of the Missoula County Democrats.

Kendall says he doesn't foresee Curtis having problems raising funds. He also says that Democrats could use Daines’ campaign account against him, as representative of D.C. interests.

"The problem with his war chest is it just represents Washington, D.C., interests...I think what we need to do is turn that into a liability for Steve Daines," said Kendall.

Kendall says Curtis will be hitting the ground running, by touring the state in her RV.

"In the next three months, we have a lot to do and we're going to work hard to make sure that we get Amanda's name out there, and people get to know her," said Kendall.