Sunday, May 14, 2017

Bernie's Going To Montana To Campaign Across The State With Rob Quist


Rob Quist is way too independent-minded and too dedicated to values and principles for the hacks at the DCCC to get too worked up over his race in Montana. Besides, it goes against their forever backward-looking modus operandi to contest Monatana too strongly. They only want to fight in districts where Hillary beat or did very well against Trump. Jon Ossoff's campaign has seen millions of dollars flowing from the DCCC and allied groups into GA-06 on his behalf. Quist's campaign hasn't. Trump won Ossoff's heretofore solidly Republican district, but very narrowly-- 48.3-46.8% a difference of just 1.5 points. 4 years early, Romney had beaten Obama 60.8% to 37.5%-- a 23.3 point difference. So that's some swing!

But Montana is a far different story. The DCCC isn't familiar with the state at all. There hasn't been a Democrat in the House from Montana since progressive icon Pat Williams retired in 1997. The DCCC doesn't understand that a populist economic message is how to win there. Like Quist's message. But messages that that spook economic royalists and reactionaries like Denny Heck, Cheri Bustos, Ben Ray Lujan, Steny Hoyer, Joe Crowley and the DCCC's sad, clownish staffers-- staffers who have only experienced losing and think of losing as the natural order of things. All that experience losing has made them damn good at it, best in the business by far. No one loses like the DCCC loses. Trump did better than Romney did in Montana. He beat Hillary there 56.5% to 35.9%. Hillary massively under-performed Obama's 41.7%-- enough information to send the DCCC scurrying in the opposite direction.

That's a huge and stupid mistake. Hillary had the wrong message for Big Sky Country, which is why she did so poorly there. In fact, despite her huge archest  despite all the cheating and despite all the name recognition, Bernie beat her in the Montana primary 51.1% to 44.6%. Take Missoula County, the most crucial for any Democratic candidate. Bernie beat Hillary 13,271 (60.4%) to 8,115 (36.9%) but perhaps equally important that day was while Trump pulverized Ted Cruz in the GOP primary, he only wound up with 7,623 votes. In fact, Bernie won more votes in Missoula County than Trump, Cruz, Kasich, Rubio and Bush combined-- 13,271 to 9,983! Bernie's message resonated with Montana voters. Hillary's candidate-centric, poor excuse for a message ("It's my turn" or "I may be horrible but Trump's worse") didn't.

And Quist's message is very much like Bernie's. He speaks plain English to the state's working families. And he's running against a multimillionaire from back East who Montana voters already rejected on the same day they rejected Hillary and voted for Trump. Gianforte lost to Democrat Steve Bullock in the gubernatorial race that same day 250,846 (50.2%) to 232,080 (46.4%). And in crucial Missoula County, that went so strongly for Bernie over Hillary and over Trump, Bullock pulverized Gianforte 38,636 (65.2%) to 18,634 (31.5%).

And guess who's going to Missoula this coming weekend. No, not Debbie Wasserman Schultz-- not invited. No, not Steny Hoyer-- not invited. Not Nancy Pelosi-- not invited. Not Chuck Schumer-- not invited. Not Ben Ray Lujan or Denny Heck or Cheri Bustos or Joe Crowley-- none of them were invited either, And, yes, you guessed it: Bernie Sanders. Bernie and Rob will be campaigning all over the huge state Saturday and Sunday May 20 and 21. Gianforte has had Donald Trump, Jr. and Mike Pence campaigning for him in the state, something that reminded Montanans that Gianforte backs TrumpCare, which hits Montanans much harder than people in most states that voted for Trump. Medicaid expansion has done wonders for Montanans and they understand that Trump is shutting that down-- and that Gianforte has no problem with that.

Quist has been very clear and very vocal that he opposed TrumpCare. Gianforte has been sneaky-- telling Montana voters he was undecided and needed to study the bill, but celebrating on a call with DC lobbyist/funders on the phone after it passed. A poll by Garin-Hart-Yang Research, taken a week before passage of TrumpCare-- and 2 weeks before Trump peremptorily fired Jim Comey-- showed Gianforte leading Quist 49-43%. The poll, which also showed considerably more enthusiasm among Quist backers than among Gianforte backers, prompted the head of the Montana Republican Party, John Essmann, to tell attendees at the RNC meeting in California last week that the race is much closer than the polls are showing. He calls the enthusiasm on the Democratic side and the lack of enthusiasm on the Republican side "volatility" and he says he's never seen so much of it in Montana.

Maybe that, at least in part, is because 9.3% of Montanans stand to lose their health insurance if TrumpCare becomes law-- 96,317 people, a very significantly higher percentage than, for example, Texas' 3.0%, Georgia's 3.4%, Kansas' 2.3%, Alabama's 2.6%, Idaho's 4.4%, Tennessee's 2.4%, Oklahoma's 2.5% or Mississippi's 2.2%. In fact, Montana will be among the 3 or 4 worst-hit of any of the states that voted for Trump.

Goal Thermometer Bernie and Rob will kick off their Montana rallies next Saturday at 11am in Missoula, followed by a 3 pm event at the Butte Civic Center and an 8:30 rally at the Billings Depot. The last appearance will be late Sunday morning at Montana State University in Bozeman. Bernie and Quist have a message for working folks in Montana which transcends Trump's bullshit and Gianoforte's transparently craven lust for position. The DCCC hasn't invested the kind of money that it takes to get that message out-- the way they did in GA-06-- and if you'd like to help, it isn't too late. Just tap that Flip Congress Blue America thermometer on the right and contribute what you can. Nancy Pelosi and her crowd need more values-driven Democrats pushing her away from the mealy-mouthed Blue Dog Republican-lite messaging that has been music to the ears of the DCCC for the last decade-- and has led to the loss of dozens and dozens of House seats.

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At 7:46 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

After he was defrauded of the D nom, he SHOULD have gone to MT, and the other 49, to campaign as the Green nom or as a 3rd instead of endorsing and campaigning for the one who defrauded him and who is his philosophical opposite.

THAT hopeless cause would have been laudable. This one is just sad. It is, after all, MT.


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