Note: This is a guest post by Tim Adams.
This is my best guess of what the Election looks like today:
Here’s a link to the spreadsheet for easier viewing.
I took the total of returned ballots, ran them through the '16 governor's race totals. Without access to actual voter modeling it's probably the best guess for the race.
There were a few posts on this site about how Republicans are winning when they go to bed...only to wake up being down 10,000-20,000 votes. That's about how it looks right now with Daines down about 20,000 going into Election Day. (FYI we're already 3,000 votes higher than 4 years ago - the last column of the spreadsheet shows the comparison with totals from '16)
Daines can pull it out, assuming there are 20,000 Republican voters left somewhere. However, we're already 3,000 more votes than were even cast 4 years ago. Here's the biggest differences:
- Yellowstone Co (Billings): +4,854
- Gallatin Co (Bozeman): +4,130
- Flathead Co (Kalispell): +3,589
- Missoula Co: +2,548
- Ravalli Co: +1,908
- Lewis and Clark Co: +1,800
- Lake Co: +600
The real question is, who is left to vote? Republicans have traditionally not voted until Election Day. But if most counties mandated vote by mail, does that mean they've already voted? When you combine those above counties and their leanings, Rs only gain about 1,200 votes.
I think it'll be Trump, Bullock, Gianforte, Rosendale, Elsie that win, and maybe Bryce or Shane will pick up their races. I know I said Daines has run a good campaign, but I don't think it's been enough. They don't hit Democrats hard enough to make voters not want to vote for them. They let the Dems go low and don't respond.
I think there were legitimately much better avenues of attack on Bullock, and they used very few of them. When you argue about the state plane it makes you seem petty and as if you are arguing over minor things, not major things. Democrats talk about health care, Republicans scream Socialism! I just don't think the Cold War is exactly what people are voting on 30 years after it ended.
It speaks to our society's failures that we don't even talk about the same things anymore. Whoever speaks more to what people are dealing with is going to win.
Gianforte could easily be the moderate like Schweitzer or Rick Hill or whoever and have 2-3 good issues regular people trust him on. Instead he just says JOBS JOBS JOBS because his consultants told him to stay on message. He could talk about his Christian faith and being attacked for it or what it means to him but no. Why would the consultants give him something to humanize him if it'd make Gwen Florio cry, right? They are too stuck in D.C. and their smartphones to bother looking past the end of their noses at issues that real people vote on.
Most Elections only have enough ammunition for one giant fuck you to the elites and if Daines pulls it out it'll only be because of a big red wave. With the last 6 months personally I've just seen blue waves of Californians, Oregonians and Washingtonians. The voters he needs might be out there, but with it being so unknown it's really hard to judge.