tiptrot.com June 20, 2018

Parties battle for control of Montana's only US House seat

25 May 2017, 01:27 | Cynthia Sparks

Parties battle for control of Montana's only US House seat

Palestinians work on a poster depicting U.S. President Donald Trump in preparations for visit in the West Bank town of Bethlehem, Monday

Meagher County, Montana, may not be much different than the rest of the rural enclaves across America that voted overwhelmingly for Donald Trump last fall. The polls close at 8 p.m. But Bernie Sanders clear stole the show.

Republicans are thankful colleges are out for the summer.

Sen. Sanders (I-VT) urged people to come out and support the Democrat, "Rob Quist is running a great grassroots campaign, and it was a real joy to campaign with him over the weekend".

The race to replace Tom Price, now secretary of health and human services, gained national attention after breaking the record for most expensive House race in USA history.

"Depending on where you are, a lot of people are going to make campaigns based on running against Trump".

Montana doesn't have a singular partisan identity. Republicans have held the seat for two decades, and Trump won the state by more than 20 points. However, the state's governor is a Democrat who won re-election last fall and one of the state's two senators - Jon Tester - is a Democrat, serving his second term. Six months ago, he earned almost 47 percent of the vote, losing to Democratic Gov. Steve Bullock.

Now that the reality of a Trump presidency has settled in, Democrats could gain even more ground.

He underperformed the president. That's not just an attempt to hold on to gun owners; it's also a parry of the relentless attacks from Quist asserting that Gianforte wants to privatize Montana's treasured public lands.

Quist, on the other hand, began this race largely unknown outside of his musical career in the Mission Mountain Wood Band. Gianforte was the only Republican in Montana to lose that day.

Campus political groups are supporting their preferred congressional candidates across the country to try to maximize their impact on the political environment.

Republicans, led by CLF, have hammered Quist for his personal financial troubles, trying to paint a picture of an irresponsible big-spender. Mr. Quist said he would fight to protect health insurance, encourage student debt forgiveness and keep drillers off federal acres.

President Trump recorded a robocall ahead the Montana special House election this week in support of Republican candidate Greg Gianforte. In a debate, Quist also attacked Gianforte for having financial ties to Russian companies on the USA sanctions list.

While Quist has gotten most of his money from individual donors, he has also benefited from independent campaign committees, such as Planned Parenthood and the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee which was responsible for about half of the roughly $800,000 in spending on Quist's behalf. But it's a close race, because Greg Gianforte is a clown. Bernie Sanders campaigned for Quist in events across the state. And Quist hasn't suffered from lack of money. In 2012, he sold the software company he started in his basement, RightNow Technologies, to Oracle for $1.8 billion, walking away with hundreds of millions of dollars.

Certainly, this source and others argued, for all the warning signs, the Democrats do need to win either Montana or Georgia in order to credibly claim a coming wave election, as Republicans did in special elections like that of former Sen. "No question about it, they definitely ought to be concerned", the conservative said.

Stapleton says he expects the final voter turnout for the special election to be higher than it was for the last presidential primary, but lower than the last general election.

"For right now, Republicans absolutely should be concerned: they underperformed in the Kansas special election to replace the Pompeo seat, they underperformed in the first round of voting in Georgia 6". "There is very little local activity competing for attention (in heavily Democratic states)".

On Sunday, he will speak in Bozeman at Montana State University.

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