I’m extremely proud of the six Democrats running for the U.S. House of Representatives.
As you know, this is a tough nut to crack.
12 Democrats have tried for this seat since 1996, and all have lost.
Maybe this year will be different.
The first challenge is getting past the primary. One will do it; five will not.
When it comes to those five…what’s the future look like?
Kathleen Williams is one that I like. She’s really been getting out there, meeting people and spreading the word. She’s even going to far-flung places like – imagine this – Eastern Montana and the Hi-Line.
Williams has a BS in economics from Berkeley, she’s owned her own business, and she’s been elected to the legislature.
If she’s not running for a statewide spot in 2020 – and I think she should think about throwing her hat in for governor – then something is seriously wrong.
Lynda Moss is another I like, and perhaps she might think about running for OPI in 2020…if Melissa Romano hasn’t already gotten dibs on that. It’s not too early to think about a replacement for Rosendale in the State Auditor’s Office, either.
I don’t know much about John Meyer or Jared Pettinato, but I’m sure both would be valuable in the legislature.
When it comes to Grant Kier…well, you all know I’m not a big fan. The legislature is always waiting, and I do feel that’s a great place to start in Montana politics.
Perhaps you read my little imbroglio about him on Tuesday.
I was upset about email, signs, and whatnot. All of that has been resolved, and since it was such a sunny day out in Missoula, I decided I’d put my Heenan yard sign up.
Heenan has become the top favorite of Montana’s political class, with current and former legislators endorsing him, as well as lots of other personalities.
Just today he was out knocking on doors with Amanda Curtis and Wilmot Collins.
If Heenan doesn’t win the primary, I’ll be surprised. It was clear to me as far back as December that he would become the front-runner. It’s why I gave him $10.
But can he knock out Gianforte?
I honestly think this is the best shot the Dems have had since ’96, and the main reason for that is how unappealing the GOP candidate is.
Lots of Republicans aren’t going to vote for Gianforte, simply because of the crime he committed last year.
This year will be the closest U.S. House race in Montana since 2000, and the Dems could win it. Heenan could win it.
But will he?
As I mentioned a month or so ago…Heenan puts in $1 million, Gianforte will put in $2 million. If Heenan ups the ante to $2 million, Gianforte will raise it to $4 million.
The guy’s got deep pockets. He’s the richest member of Congress…though pays his staffers some of the lowest salaries out of all the 535 bums infesting the place.
If I was the Heenan campaign I wouldn’t be out knocking on doors in Helena or Butte or wherever.
Granted, that is a good idea when it comes to turning out the base…but this race isn’t about turning out the base, never has been.
None of the twelve races since ’96 have been about turning out the base, though the campaigns have thought so and they’ve lost because of it.
The race is about turning out new or disenfranchised voters, always has been.
Dems that vote are gonna vote for you no matter what.
But what are the left-leaning Independents and disgruntled GOPers gonna do?
That’s why I hope the Heenan campaign is looking very closely at county voting rolls going back at least 10 years, figuring out where the tight spots are and how they can get their foot in the door there.
Yellowstone County will be a big one, with Billings coming in as the top prize.
If Gianforte wins this place, then I think he’ll have another two years and he’ll be back in 2020 running for governor. He’ll likely win the state’s top spot this time, simply because the Dems don’t have a strong candidate lined-up for this position, nor are they likely to.
That’s why it’s very important for Heenan to win this, effectively ending Gianforte’s political career in Montana.
This will also be a big win for the GOP, as they won’t have a deep-pocketed elephant in the room anymore, one that effectively ends anyone else’s chances just when he declares.
Trust me…lots of Montana Republicans would like to have Gianforte – and his money – off the stage.
Well, as usual we’ve gotten off onto a few tangents…but I hope you get the idea.
Until next time…be cool.