Thursday, May 25, 2017

Election Day-- Today... In Montana


Today's the day. A quarter million people have already voted in Montana but whatever analysis of that available shows that neither side has any advantage so far in the early voting. [For comparison's sake-- even if it's an apples-to-oranges comparison-- the June 6 special election in CA-34 has had 14,820 early votes and the expected total for the entire race is between 40 and 45,000.] This is going to be close and it's totally about getting out the vote. So, if you're in Montana, or you know anyone in Montana... your country needs you today.

Rob Quist has raised over $5 million from over 200,000 donors. Gianforte raised around the same amount but from only a tenth as many people-- and includes $1.5 million from himself. In the last week, spending has gone through the roof as internal GOP polls have shown Quist having caught up with Gianforte. Helena's Independent Record reported that "Republicans are significantly outspending Democrats," meaning outside groups... GOP outside groups have ensured that Republicans have a spending advantage, though, airing more than $7 million worth of TV ads, versus about $3 million from Democrats. House Majority PAC, Democrats’ main House outside group, on Tuesday added a last-minute $125,000 TV ad buy to the race, on top of $25,000 announced last week." That's Pelosi, who's decided to spend big in GA-06 and just pretend to be helping in Montana to pacify Berniecrats, many of whom are too new to politics to understand the difference between Pelosi spending $150,000 and Ryan spending $3 million.
In the past 20 days, outside groups have spent $228,061 in support of Quist. Groups supporting Gianforte have spent $356,476. Much of that money is being spent on getting out the vote. The Progressive Turnout Project, for example, has spent $14,825 on employees to get out the vote for Quist. The Republican National Committee spent $16,939 on Gianforte phone calls May 20-21.

Turnout in rural Montana counties, where Republicans do well, has been strong with more than 70 percent of absentee ballots returned by rural voters, according to Montana’s secretary of state. Turnout through Monday had absentee ballots from rural counties comprising 30 percent of the state’s absentee vote. That’s better than the normal absentee turnout, which is 25 percent, said Craig Wilson, Montana State University Billings political science professor emeritus.

Combined, the rural county absentee vote is higher than the turnout in Missoula and Gallatin counties, Montana’s second and third largest counties for absentee ballots. Anchored by the state’s two largest universities, those are counties where Democrats need higher turnout, Wilson said.

Money spent against the candidates is more lopsided. Republican groups have spent almost four times as much targeting their opponent as Democrats have. That's $1.93 million against Quist and $442,450 against Gianforte in the past 20 days.

...The campaign committees of Quist and Gianforte have raised at least $10 million combined, while outside groups have spent more than $7.1 million thus far.

The Quist campaign announced Tuesday that it had topped $6 million in contributions, noting that it had generated about $1 million in small donations over the past five days.

That amount could not be immediately verified because it had not yet been reported to the Federal Elections Commission.

Gianforte's campaign said it has raised about $4.6 million, including a last-minute loan of $500,000 from Gianforte. He had previously lent his campaign $1 million. The combined total in direct contributions is a record haul for a Montana congressional race.

...The money flowing into the campaign from independent outside groups, which can spend unlimited amounts of money, has mostly benefited Gianforte. Groups supporting the Bozeman entrepreneur have spent more than $6.3 million, according to FEC records, including $2.4 million from the Congressional Leadership Fund.

The fund has also spent heavily to influence another special congressional election in Georgia, as have the Republican Party committees.

The Republican National Committee and the National Republican Congressional Committee have combined for more than $3.1 million.

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.
Today, the question is whether or not the surge in grassroots Quist contributions will equate to a surge in grassroots Quist voters. Does the national enthusiasm translate to Montana voter enthusiasm? Are Trump and Ryan as toxic for Republicans in Montana as they are in other places? After the two big wins for Democrats in very Republican legislative districts in New Hampshire and Long Island Tuesday, Republicans are freaking out today about Montana. Gianforte complained to his supporters that "This race is closer than it should be." Elena Schneider, writing for Politico yesterday reported "recurring nightmare of a pattern for Republicans around the country, as traditional GOP strongholds prove more difficult and expensive for the party to hold than it ever anticipated when President Donald Trump plucked House members like Ryan Zinke, the former Montana Republican now running the Interior Department, for his Cabinet. Gianforte is still favored to keep the seat red, but a state Trump carried by 20 percentage points last year became a battleground in the past few months."
Republicans have called on Vice President Mike Pence and Donald Trump Jr. to calm their nerves about turnout and prevent Democrats from having the only energized voting bloc in the special election. Both have rallied voters with Gianforte, and Pence recorded a get-out-the-vote robocall. Gianforte, who said little about Donald Trump when Gianforte ran for governor and lost in 2016, has cast himself as a willing and eager partner of the president this time around.

On Tuesday, surrounded by Trump stickers-- and some Trump hat-wearing supporters-- Gianforte said he was eager "to work with Donald Trump to drain the swamp and make America great again," invoking two of the president's campaign slogans. Pence's robocall may give another boost to Republican turnout efforts.

But the environment has changed since Trump’s presidential win last fall. One senior Republican strategist warned that, based on the party’s performance in special elections so far, if Republicans “cannot come up with better candidates and better campaigns, this cycle is going to be even worse than anybody ever thought it could be.”

“The fact that we're talking about Montana-- a super red seat-- is amazing,” said John Lapp, who led the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee during the 2006 cycle. “It's also amazing how much money Republicans have to pour into these seats to defend them. It's still a steep climb in Montana, but we know that the reaction there means that there's a tremendous amount of Democratic energy across the country, a tremendous amount of fundraising that will then feed into races that are much fairer fights."

Democrats hope the passage of House Republicans’ health care bill just three weeks before the election will put the wind at Quist’s back. It has been the subject of Quist’s closing TV ads, and he has called the plan “devastating” to Montana.
It's been called devastating for Montana because it is-- more so than almost any state that voted for Trump. Because the state expanded Medicaid, 9.3% of Montanans stand to lose their health insurance if TrumpCare becomes law-- 96,317 people, a very significantly higher percentage than 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%. That should help boost turnout today. As will the fact that even "Republicans acknowledge that Gianforte has flaws Democrats exploited mercilessly in last year’s gubernatorial race, likely cementing negative feelings about him from some voters. Gianforte is dogged by reports that he sued Montana to block access to a stream in front of his ranch, kicking up a public lands dispute that hits home with Montana voters and has “probably followed him into this House race,” said Jeff Essman, the state’s GOP party chairman."

Last night, over-entitled, right-wing crackpot Greg Gianforte went completely insane and beat up a reporter. No wonder both Montana and national Republicans think Gianforte is the worst possible candidate they could have been saddled with today. Listen below. Despite the witnesses and the audio, Gianforte made up a whole lie about how the reporter attacked him because... "liberal journalist." The Fox News reporters in the room had something to say about that.
The race to fill Montana's sole seat in the U.S. House of Representatives took a violent turn Wednesday, and a crew from the Fox News Channel, including myself, witnessed it firsthand.

...Gianforte grabbed Jacobs by the neck with both hands and slammed him into the ground behind him. Faith, Keith and I watched in disbelief as Gianforte then began punching the man, as he moved on top the reporter and began yelling something to the effect of "I'm sick and tired of this!"

...To be clear, at no point did any of us who witnessed this assault see Jacobs show any form of physical aggression toward Gianforte, who left the area after giving statements to local sheriff's deputies.

As for myself and my crew, we are cooperating with local authorities. It is not clear if charges will be filed against Gianforte at this time.

Overnight, Montana's three most influential newspapers-- the Billings Gazette, the Missoulian and the Helena Independent Record-- withdrew their endorsements of Gianforte... and he was charged with misdemeanor assault. Voters are waking up to that today! And this:


Montana has same day voter registration. People waking up are seeing some incredible news about the Republican dirt-bag-- who has strong ties to neo-Nazi organizations-- who they are being asked to vote for today. From last night's Missoulian:
Greg Gianforte should not represent Montana in the U.S. House of Representatives.

The Republican candidate for Congress not only lost the endorsement of this newspaper Wednesday night when, according to witnesses, he put his hands around the throat of a reporter asking him about his health care stance, threw him to the ground and punched him-- he should lose the confidence of all Montanans.

...The Gallatin County sheriff’s office found probable cause to cite Gianforte for misdemeanor assault Wednesday night. We will leave it to the legal system to determine his guilt or innocence.

But there is no doubt that Gianforte committed an act of terrible judgment that, if it doesn’t land him in jail, also shouldn’t land him in the U.S. House of Representatives.

He showed Wednesday night that he lacks the experience, brains and abilities to effectively represent Montana in any elected office.

And in case critics say this is just fake news from the liberal media, let us repeat one fact again: The eyewitness account of Gianforte’s actions came from a Fox News reporter.

We hope our fellow Montanans who haven’t already cast their ballots will say loud and clear at the polls Thursday that Greg Gianforte is not the man we want representing us in Washington. He does not represent Montana values and he should not represent us in Congress.

We’re putting our trust in your good sense.

The whole country is.

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At 6:19 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

The assault on a reporter will probably get Gianforte an extra 50K votes. MT he-men will get raging boners over that.

At 6:39 AM, Anonymous Hone said...

Fingers crossed for Quist.

it will be just awful if Pianoforte wins despite his outlandish, aggressive, impulsive, unacceptable, even criminal behavior. And he is not even from Montana!

At 6:48 AM, Anonymous ap215 said...


At 9:53 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

If Gianforte were a Democrat, the House would pass a resolution before lunch barring such a menace from being seated. Watching Paul Ryan on CNN talking about the right of the [Republican] people of Montana to decide for themselves brought tears to my eyes and vomit to my mouth.

At 12:33 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I live in Wyoming and have watched this race closely. When driving around Billings, one of the biggest cities in Montana, I see Quist signs all over the city. The stupid Billings Gazette endorsed Greg, which prompted me to stop buying the Gazette. Last night, they rescinded their endorsement, as did the other two main newspapers in Montana. Gianfarte was charged with misdemeanor assault, but it should have been felony assault. Hopefully, it is not over for Greg who is a certified nut job. The good people of Montana said they didn't want him as governor, and I am hoping they don't want him as their congressman either.

At 4:12 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Bernie's video should be making the DNC very, very nervous!

At 6:19 PM, Blogger ti ra said...

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At 6:42 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I am 6:19 and I was correct. Again. Still.

When will DWT wise up? How many more times will their delusional pieces like this be utterly repudiated by a majority of voters before they get it?

American voters, those left with something to vote for, are majority evil/greed/hate/fear. They got something to love in that asshole. The assault locked it for him.
The rest only have the corrupt and feckless democraps to consider. Their guy in this one was a gimmick candidate who had about equal money to spend and still lost by 6.

It is fucking MONTANA after all.


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