Tag Archives: Democrats

Montana and Rob Quist may be the best chance to win a house seat this year (May 25).

The next special election is for Montana’s At-Large district, on May 25. The seat was most recently held by Ryan Zinke, who is now serving as Trump’s Secretary of the Interior.

Rob Quist is running on the Democratic ticket. He is endorsed by Our Revolution and by Daily Kos. Quist is a working musician who’s performed across Big Sky Country for decades. He’s best known as a member of the Mission Mountain Wood Band which headlined bluegrass/folk music concerts across Montana and much of the US in the 70s.

How you can help

Over at Our Revolution, we’re phone-banking for Rob Quist every Thursday and Saturday. We’ll be texting for the candidate the week before the election. Join us to volunteer, or contribute to the campaign.

Rob’s opponent is Greg Gianforte, a millionaire businessman and supporter of creationist causes who moved from New Jersey to Montana.

Montana has a Democratic governor in Steve Bullock, who enjoys 60% favorability, and a Democratic senator in Jon Tester. In many ways, this is the most favorable district of the five special elections this year. Historic margins for Democrats in these five districts is below (figures in bold represent an election without an incumbent running, or where the incumbent lost):

YEAR KS-4 GA-6 PA-10 SC-5 MT-AL
2017 -6.8% Apr 18, Jun 20 TBD Jun 20 May 25
2016 -31% -23% -40% -21% -16%
2014 -33% -22% -38% -31% -15%
2012 -33% -29% -31% -11% -11%
2010 -22% -99% -10% -10% -27%
2008 -31% -37% 7% 25% -32%
2006 -30% -45% 6% 14% -20%
2004 -35% -100% -86% 26% -32%

His campaign fits Montana, though it has had a low profile nationally:

When Quist arrived last month in Fort Benton, Chouteau County’s biggest town, nearly 70 people gathered to hear him speak. “We’re a very Republican, red, conservative area,” Bailey told The Huffington Post by phone in a recent interview, describing the first rally they held with Quist in March. “I was like, ‘Holy cow!’”

Now, his rallies regularly draw hundreds. It’s precisely the kind of organizing Democrats say is essential to rebuilding the party and taking back power. But back in Washington, Democrats are conflicted on how or whether to get involved in the race. Some aren’t following it at all.

Rep. Jim Clyburn (D-S.C.) was the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee’s national mobilization chair in 2016. “Montana special election?” Clyburn said, when HuffPost asked if the DCCC planned to get more involved in the race. Somebody nearby told him the race was to replace Zinke. “Oh, I didn’t know about that,” Clyburn said. — www.huffingtonpost.com/…

Quist has done a great job raising money, though we can expect his past financial troubles (some caused by poor health) to become an issue in the campaign:

We received 22,333 individual contributions with an average donation of just $40. Thanks Montana! http://robquist.org/quist-campaign-rolls-past-1-3-million-raised-releases-q1-fec-filing/ 

U.S. Sen. Bernie Sanders has announced that he will be campaigning across Montana in May to support the campaign for Congress of Democrat Rob Quist, a folk musician from the Flathead Valley. — missoulian.com/…

View image on Twitter

Koch Industries almost got a progressive Democrat as their Congressman.

* Since corporations are people, I think my headline is fair.

The difference was just about 6,000 votes. There were a lot of nay-sayers, including on this site. Several people assumed the GOP was playing mind-games or fifth-dimensional chess by diverting resources to this race.

The closeness of this race should be a reminder that progressive Democrats do have a chance to win, even in the reddest of districts.

We have a chance to win districts that are 84% white.

We have a chance to win districts that are home to Koch industries.

We have a chance to win districts where the Republican won by 30% in the previous election.

What it takes is a candidate who is willing to do the work and has a message that resonates with working people.

As volunteers, we should flock to such a candidate to help campaign and GotV.

For everyone who says Democrats don’t vote in off-years, this district puts you to shame.

YEAR R VOTES D VOTES R DROP D DROP
2004 173,171 81,388
2006 113,676 60,297 -34% -26%
2008 177,617 90,706
2010 119,575 74,143 -33% -18%
2012 161,094 81,770
2014* 138,757 69,396 -14% -15%
2016 166,998 81,495
2017 60,945 51,467 -64% -36%

*No libertarian candidate ran in 2014.

Off-year voter turnout for Democrats is better than it is for Republicans. The one outlier (2014) isn’t perfectly comparable because no Libertarian ran.

So let’s not say Democrats don’t turn up to vote in off-cycles. Democrats showed up to vote, we beat GOP turnout by 28%.

There will be a lot of discussion about this race. Was it a sensible allocation of resources to send $8 million and boatloads of attention to Jon Ossoff in GA-6 while sending no money and no attention to James Thompson? Would national Democrats have responded differently if Dennis McKinney had won the primary (i.e. was it about the candidate rather than the race)?

If everyone is afraid of “nationalizing” races and attack ads the GOP might run featuring Pelosi/Schumer etc, shouldn’t we all just go hide under a rock till the GOP promises never to run attack ads? Did the “stealth strategy” achieve its purpose? No, the NRCC eventually did run ads tying Thompson to Pelosi, Cruz visited and Trump robocalled. Shouldn’t the DCCC follow the NRCC’s lead and compete everywhere? Or should they keep all their powder dry for GA-6? It’s the only race they’re asking people to volunteer for.

Whatever you think about those questions, today’s result should lead you to one conclusion. We can win. We can win in Kansas, we can win in Montana, we can win in Georgia, we can win in South Carolina. We need to put in the work, and do it everywhere.

There is not a liberal America and a conservative Americathere is the United States of America”. — Barack Obama

Next stop, Montana. Let’s work on election Rob Quist to Congress. Donate to his campaign here. Rob is well known across Montana, and is endorsed by Our Revolution which will GotV for him. He has momentum. Please help by volunteering. You can text, phonebank, or donate.

* GA-6 will likely end up in a run-off on June 20.

— Cross-posted at DailyKos.com | @subirgrewal