We have around 60,000 votes to count yet, I hear SoS saying.
So maybe later this afternoon on the Senate race. Tester is now within about 1,200 votes, and he'll probably pick up a lot more.
But we know a lot already.
First of all, I had a lot of fun staying up to 3 AM on Election Night, giving you results.
Most people weren’t up late into the night, and most people didn’t visit my site to read my analysis.
That’s fine. It was clear to me, however, that my analysis of the results was the best in the state. No other website, blog or news site had half-hour updates that looked at the counties that really mattered, and which races really mattered.
For instance, few knew anything about the legislative toss-up races. Here those are:
SD 11, SD 13, SD 14, SD 24, SD 32, SD 49
HD 3, HD 21, HD 25, HD 50, HD 51, HD 52, HD 60, HD 65, HD 93, HD 96
SD 49 in Missoula and HD 3 in Kalispell are in a dead-heat right now.
The House is going to be 58-42 most likely, while the Senate remains in GOP hands as well.
Greg Hertz is in line to be Speaker of the Montana House, though Nancy Balance might get it.
Matt Regier or Wylie Galt are likely to take leadership positions. Brad Tschida and Forest Mandeville will also get leadership positions.
The Central Committees of the GOP are really blowing away the Central Committees of the Dems. Dem leadership is concentrated too narrowly in too few places, and has been for years.
Dem HQ in Helena just ain’t getting it done. Their ideas are stale and boring and Montanans shun them at the ballot box. We saw that clearly last night. Dems don’t even try to win the legislature anymore. Must be frustrating for regular Dem voters.
No one else last night was looking at the counties where the Indian turnout was supposed to be.
And I don’t think anyone else was ignored as much on Twitter last night as I was.
But that’s par for the course. I make all the local and statewide reporters look bad, as I’m faster and more informed than they are. And the politicians on both sides of the aisle hate me, so they ignore me too.
Yet I’m still here, and those that do read this site know it’s the best in the state for political analysis.
Probably will be for some time to come.
None of the other daily/weekly Montana blogs had anything up yesterday about the election results: Flathead Memo, Montana Post, Reptile Dysfunction, MT Cowgirl.
In fact, that last one hasn’t had a post up in over a month, since they pushed the tobacco initiative. A lot of good that did them, and a lot of good all their and MT Post’s pro-Williams posts did.
Oh yeah…there were no pro-Williams posts. Well, maybe a couple. Nothing that could compare to all the anti-Zinke/Daines/Gianforte posts.
I don’t expect Democrats nationally or in Montana to look at themselves after this election, wondering what went wrong. They surely won’t talk about it. I mean…they didn’t after the losses in 2016, and here in Montana they didn’t after they lost in 2017.
Democrats in Montana actually thought the body slam incident would hurt Gianforte. He got more votes than anyone else in the state last night, and he won more than he did by in 2017.
Dems really need to figure out a new playbook, but they won’t. This is really good for the GOP here.
Nationally it’s clear that Dems have absolutely no one for the 2020 races. There are no inspiring characters, and the people they thought were inspiring – Beto and that woman in Georgia and Williams here – didn’t inspire anyone, at least not enough for them to win.
With Nancy Pelosi likely to keep the torch for Dems in Congress, you know the GOP will have lots of fodder going into 2020. These old people will never step down from power as their egos won’t allow it. This is bad for future generations of both parties, but it works in the GOP’s favor politically.
In regard to Medicaid expansion, we’ll probably have means and income testing now as a condition for the GOP to fund it. Drug testing is also a possibility.
Dems will fight this, but they have no leverage. They’ll be lucky if the GOP offers those carrots, but they won’t see it that way.
Dems need to realize that taxing smokes is not a viable option at the ballot box. They need to figure out how to generate revenue another way, and I'm not talking local option sales taxes, which the GOP will never allow.
It really is back to the drawing board for Montana Dems. Don't expect them to go that route, though...especially if Tester pulls off a win, which seems very likely now as the morning progresses.
A Tester win - like Bullock's in 2016 - will wipe away all the other losses, cementing in the minds of Dem leadership that they indeed are winners.
If they want to see it that way, fine. I think they're deluding themselves, however.
And that’s about all I have for you right now. Any thoughts you have are welcome in the comments or via email.