It’s pretty much over. There’s no path for Joe Biden to win...not without Florida and Ohio. Trump is up 12% in Pennsylvania; 8: in Michigan; and 4% in Wisconsin.
There is no viable path to 270 for Biden any longer. Trump has won his second term, it’s just that the media doesn’t want to tell you that.
Here in Montana, just before midnight the AP called the U.S. Senate race for Daines.
We currently have 67% of the election counted, or 505,000 votes.
Daines leads by 6% now. I don’t know where Bullock is going to find 30,000 votes to close the gap. He doesn’t either; at 12:30 AM he conceded the race.
Gianforte is up 9%, or 45,000 votes. At 12:15 AM, Cooney conceded the race.
All the other Dem statewide candidates lost, as we expected they would. Romano is the only one that could possibly come back, but she needs to find 21,000 votes and I don’t know where she’s going to find them.
Kathleen Williams is now done in Montana politics. Her only path back is if we get a second House seat, based in the western district, which she might be able to take. But she’s in Bozeman...so maybe not. I think her time is over. She gave it two good shots.
Bullock’s time in Montana politics is now over. He had a good run - 4 years as AG and 8 as governor. He ran for president and for the U.S. Senate. Now it’s time to sit back and let the kids finish school, perhaps taking a high paying consulting job or a position at a law firm. I’m sure he could find an easy one that has him working a couple days a week, jetting to some city a few times a month.
Melissa Romano’s time in Montana politics is now over. She ran twice, lost twice. She could have run again for something - legislature makes sense - but her husband has too much baggage for that to happen now. I assume she’ll head back to the classroom to teach.
Mike Cooney’s time in Montana politics is now over. He’s had decades of government work, and served as our Secretary of State. He’s had a good run. His kids will enjoy the fact that he’ll have more free time come January. His grandkids will love it.
Shane Morigeau might head back to the legislature, but a law firm would be easier. I assume Bryce Bennett will head to Seattle or Portland or some other west coast city to start a political consulting firm. Raph Graybill will likely get a job with a Helena firm, practicing law for a few years before running for statewide again.
And so closes another chapter of Montana history. It was a long one, fraught with turmoil and frustration, angst and animosity, and quite a bit of out-of-state money thrown in for good measure.
It’s nothing the state hasn’t seen before, hasn’t survived.
Tomorrow the state opens a new chapter. What story will we tell?
At 10:30 PM they finally closed the election doors in Missoula - everyone that was going to vote had!
At that point, SoS had 327,000 votes counted. That’s also the point that Daines pulled ahead of Bullock, 51% to 49%. There’s a chance those numbers will flip many times before tomorrow afternoon, but I think Daines will ultimately prevail. It’s hard to take on an incumbent. 5,000 votes now separate them.
15,000 votes separate Cooney and Gianforte, with the latter in the lead.
Bryce Bennett appears to be the worst performing candidate for the Dems. I actually thought Morigeau would do worse, with his lack of name recognition. Bennett has been in state politics for a decade, but is doing worse.
Arntzen now leads Romano by about 2,000 votes, 48% to 48%.
Tranel is still 10% ahead of Fielder for PSC #4, but when Flathead comes in, that’ll flip. All the other PSC Dems appear heading for a loss.
The AP called Montana for Trump at 10:30 PM, even though Yellowstone was only 45% in and Flathead and Silver Bow were 0%.
The corporate media begrudgingly called Ohio for Trump, and Politico is giving him Florida. Sometime in the next hour, North Carolina and Pennsylvania will be firmly in Trump’s bag.
And there’s a chance that could change in the days ahead as late and absentee and mail ballots are counted in those states...we just don’t know.
At least I’m not hearing about any riots.
At 10:45 PM, the AP called the governor’s race for Gianforte. Many will wonder why Gianforte won, perhaps blaming anyone but Dems and their lackluster campaign, staff, and candidate.
By that point, 45% of the vote was in.
Also around that time, Missoula announced that they’d be going home for the night and no more ballots would be counted.
Still no results from several major counties in the state.
I’m listening to relaxing music for stress relief.
Hey, not only is it the election...but I’ve got two kids running around a small apartment as I try to write this stuff.
At least it’s bedtime now.
I’m surprised Trump is doing so well in Washington State. Maybe it was the riots. So far, with 31% of the vote in, Trump is down by just 11%. Hillary took the state in ‘16 by 16%.
Florida is 98% in and sometime over the next hour one of the networks will call it for Trump. He leads by nearly 400,000 votes.
It’s hard to believe the Dems ever thought they had a chance in Georgia, but that was just the corporate media lying to us again.
Trump has been ahead in Virginia for over an hour, but the media still has that state in Biden’s column. I think when it’s all over, Trump will take it.
Pennsylvania seems to be Trump’s.
Here are some tweets that have been sent out this evening that I’ve found interesting:
On the Montana front, we’re now up to 26%. That means almost 200,000 votes have been counted out of the 752,000 registered voters we have.
The only Dem to still retain their leads are Bullock and Romano, and I fully expect Romano’s to diminish significantly when the red counties begin to report more fully. Flathead, Yellowstone, Gallatin, and Cascade are all slow on the uptake.
Here’s how much percent each Dem has lost over the past 30 minutes:
- Bullock: 3%
- Kathleen: 2%
- Cooney: 3%
- Bennett: 3%
- Graybill: 4%
- Morigeau: 3%
- Romano: 3%
Those numbers are only going to get worse. It’s looking a lot like all the statewide Dems are going to lose. Bullock just too much air and money out of the room.
As we get later into the night, Bullock’s race will be the only one to watch. It might go until tomorrow, but I think his lead will slip significantly before the vote counters all go to bed.
Florida’s Collier County is going for Trump big time, 62% to 37%. In Duval County, however, Biden is up 51% to 47.5%. So far 91% of that state is in. I still say Trump is gonna take it, but we’ll see.
Pennsylvania is moving more and more into the Trump bag (just minutes ago it’s trending to Biden again (and then back to Trump)).
Trump’s pulled ahead in North Carolina by 1% (62,000 votes) with 92% in.
Biden has maintained his electoral college lead, but Trump is gaining.
Here in Montana we moved up to 22.4% from the 13.4% that was reporting at 8:30.
Missoula is the only county with any kinds of results to speak of (writing at 8:45).
I’m hearing the turnout was 89% so far, and may increase. Also, 840 people registered to vote today...the GOP’s worst nightmare.
Here are some trends to notice:
Kathleen got 2% more voters than Cooney did, showing there is some serious GOP crossover vote there, or just Dems feeling Cooney wasn’t worth voting for.
Bullock picked up 2% more than Kathleen, and 4% more than Cooney, perhaps showing more crossover, or just that Dems felt this race was important, others not so much, and they skipped the down-ballots. It’s hard to say.
And remember - IT’S STILL EARLY!!!
Besides that, just 20 votes separate the two candidates in HD 96, which often flips back and forth between the parties every couple of years. Tom Winter gave up the seat to run for Congress.
Flathead, Yellowstone, and Cascade counties weren’t reporting anything until about 8:45, and then the numbers changed.
Here are some numbers:
- Bullock up 53% to 47%
- Kathleen up 51% to 49%
- Cooney up 50% to 47%
- Jacobsen over Bennett, 51% to 49%
- Graybill up 51% to 49%
- Morigeau up 49% to 47%
- Romano up 52% to 44%
Romano is currently outperforming all the other statewide Dems, but I feel that honeymoon phase of the night won’t last too long. Soon she’ll look like the other candidates are now - the 20% leads are now down to 1-2%. Soon they’ll be underwater.
These numbers are changing every few minutes. This is the hot time, the time for you to check SoS yourself.
The polls closed at 8, and right away the Secretary of State website went down.
Usually the site will be operational for at least 10 or 15 minutes before crashing, but this year it was kaput right from the get-go.
Dems on Twitter were angry, saying Corey Stapleton was the worst Secretary of State ever. While that may be true, it’s also true that this problem happens every year.
In 2014 when Linda McCullough was in charge, the site crashed at 9 PM and was down for about a half hour.
No one one Twitter seems to remember that.
To get results, Dems were looking at the AP, which the Montana Free Press was then reposting. The thing is, this is just showing the urban areas of Helena and Missoula and that’s about it.
People need patience right now but it’s the last thing they want.
By 8:30 the site was up, with just 13.4% of the vote in.
Cooney was up 58% to Gianforte’s 38%. Does anyone really believe that’s going to remain firm all night, or even an hour?
The other races were similar - Kathleen up 20%, Bullock up 22%, Graybill up 16%, Romano up 23%.
Dems should enjoy this honeymoon period of the results coming in. It ain’t gonna last.
7 PM Update
Around 6 PM, local Missoula TV reporters were telling us the line at the elections office was around the block and the wait time was two hours.
Around the same time in Billings, voters were telling exit-pollers that they’d waited two to three hours to vote.
Why were so many waiting to vote in-person when ballots had been mailed out a month earlier? Many were saying they didn’t get their ballot, or they wanted to register. Some just wanted to vote in-person, like they typically do.
Here's some more Twitter action:
Nationally, Florida is trending toward Trump. The counties that are still out are leaning his way. The state has counted nearly 11 million votes. Trump is up by around 300,000 votes, or 50.9% to 48.2%. Nearly 90% of the vote is already in.
Pennsylvania has just 7% of theirs in, with Biden in the lead. 53% of the vote is counted in Ohio. Trump is losing by about 10%.
We’re all just waiting.
The polls have closed in most of Florida. NBC called Indiana for Trump, giving him 11 electoral votes. And we’re off!
Not a whole lot has changed as we made our way through this day of voting here in Missoula.
I took a ‘new-normal-nap’ from about 3 to 4.
Not familiar with those? These are the kinds of naps you take when your kid is home all day from school, running in and out of the house, and then the baby wakes up twenty minutes after you lay down, so now you’ve got to get her up and let her walk around while you lay on the couch, trying your best to pretend some Chinese-made kids toy isn’t blaring out cheap musical sounds.
That’s a ‘new-normal-nap.’
I decided to take a look at the most recent campaign finance reports for the candidates running for governor, as well as those running for U.S. Senate.
Cooney’s report didn't list staffer pay, and Gianforte didn’t list any staffers in his most recent report.
I’m curious how much the campaign staffers were paid, and I wonder what those on the losing campaign will do come tomorrow.
I noticed a few other things in the reports as well.
For instance, they don’t call Rosendale ‘Maryland’ Matt for no reason - nearly all of his latest campaign spending went to Maryland’s On Message, Inc. for “media.” He spent probably close to $2 million for that.
Sam Cooper seems to be the main staffer in the reports, pulling down $5,700 a month. Nick Stamas took home $5,500 just once. Kendall Cotton was making $4,400 a month, but I think that was the 2018 campaign.
Bullock moves his money around to different outfits, unlike Rosendale, but Mothership Strategies and Canal Partners Media get most of his cash.
Megan Simpson pulled in $9,500 for some kind of salaried work back in April. After that she began making $5,000 every two weeks to work on the campaign.
She graduated from the University of Iowa in 2011, moved to Alaska in ‘14 to work for the Dem Party there, took a break for a few years, and then in ‘18 she shows up in Montana as a Coordinated Director for the Montana Democratic Party, getting out the vote in Billings. After that Bullock tapped her to be his state director in Iowa for his presidential bid. Tonight we’ll see if she’s worth the money.
Besides that we have Lily Ross making $3,200 every two weeks, as well as a bunch of other staffers making similar...but all furloughed shortly after the primary. As far as I can tell, it’s just Simpson and whatever army of volunteers they’ve mustered.
12 PM Update
Well, it’s noon and people are voting. The turnout in Missoula is over 85% at this point. Montana has more turnout than 2016.
By 8 AM, there were already over 100 people standing in line at the Missoula elections office to vote. At 8:30, there was a line around the block at the Kalispell elections office.
Up in Great Falls, they have just one polling place open - the Great Falls Expo. Lines were a few blocks long around 10 AM.
How do I know this?
Most of the state reporters - the few we have left - are on Twitter today sharing their stories and images.
I’m going to screenshot their posts and share them with you here, just as I’ve done for the previous four election cycles.
On top of this, we’ll have many of our legislators putting their thoughts out, as well as candidates, failed candidates, and politicians that’ve been out of office for years if not decades. Oh, and let’s not forget the nobodies, has-beens, never-weres, and my favorite - the out of state ringers.
All will share their thoughts, their boasts - and later in the evening - their pity, remorse, frustration and finally, defeat.
Yep, it’s gonna be a fun night!
Here are some tweets that caught my eye this morning (click to enlarge):
I was listening to Aaron Flint’s radio show. State Senator Janna Taylor called in. She’d been working as a poll watcher in Polson from 7-9 AM. Seems the local Dems couldn’t find enough poll watchers, so two were brought in from Seattle, another two from Virginia.
I got an email from someone in the Flathead a week or so ago. Seems a Dem chairman up there is miffed that he can’t find enough volunteers to call up Dems on the list that still haven’t turned in their ballots.
On top of this, the state party is providing zero support in getting out the vote, providing campaign materials, or just about anything else. All the money and all the support - just like in ‘16 - has gone to Bullock, and the boots on the ground know it. The price of Bullock winning is every other Dem losing.
In other news...I heard today that AMC theaters is trying to restructure so they can stay afloat. They have $2.6 billion in debt, but they also have 44 Hollywood blockbuster movies that they’re just sitting on, waiting for covid to go away. They think they might be able to open up fully by next summer.
Also, I saw this post a week or so ago and never got around to sharing it.
It’s an example of why this is the least important election in the past 30 years (because either way, we’re screwed).
Well, we made it.
If we’re lucky, Florida will decide it for us very early and we’ll know the winner before we all go to bed.
But chances are very good many states will take days or weeks to count all the ballots, and the lawsuits will probably start tomorrow morning.
The election chaos could go on until December 15 when the results are supposed to be certified, and it could co on further than that, possibly until early-January when the Supreme Court might have to decide it.
Much of it will come down to the few swing states. The media tells us that Pennsylvania is the most important, followed closely by Wisconsin, Michigan, Minnesota, and Ohio.
And what do the swing voters in those states want to hear?
Well, isn’t it obvious? They want to hear $110-million-net-worth Lady Gaga tell them how to vote, and in such a way that really puts them down as idiot rednecks.
To win, one of these men is going to have to capture 270 electoral votes. Back in ‘16, Trump won 306.
Personally, I think Biden will probably win the popular vote, but Trump will win more states. I actually think Trump will get around 50 more electoral votes than he needs.
Here’s how I see it shaping up over the coming days, as the vote tally comes in:
I know what you’re thinking...Trump’s gonna win those states?!?
I think so. I think we underestimate the pent-up frustration that’s going to be let out today...frustration that’s built-up over the better part of the year from covid, the lockdowns, the riots, and now the election that everyone wanted to be over months ago.
Today, I believe, the Silent Majority will speak.
Looking further ahead….
A thousand National Guard troops were called up in Massachusetts. The White House put 250 National Guard troops in place, and installed a large fence that supposedly couldn’t be scaled. Other states will surely follow suit.
So how does it all end?
Three key planets are changing their alignments beginning in late-December, and this will have a profound effect on all peoples of the world.
Jupiter, Saturn and Pluto are all moving and shaking. On December 21, Jupiter and Saturn will be in conjunction, meaning they’re incredibly close together in the sky.
This matters because these are the two largest planetary bodies by gravitational weight, and since our bodies are mostly water (60%), these planets have immense pull on us
Come early-January, things will begin to change. Why? Because Jupiter will have pulled itself out of its conjunction with Saturn by that point. Any kind of election turmoil with ballots still needed to be counted, lawsuits being waged...this should all be done by then.
Also, Jupiter and Pluto should be far enough apart by mid-January for the virus to finally take a permanent place in our rearview mirror, although the two planets will meet three more times throughout the year - April, June and November.
Check back for updates throughout the day and evening.