Mostly, we’ll focus on what might happen in 2018 and 2020 here in Montana.
Nope, I sure don’t think it’s too early…especially on that last one.
It might actually be too late.
Excitement for 2018
Over on NBC today, there’s a 900-person poll.
In it we find that 59% of Democrats “have a high level of interest in next year’s elections,” compared with 49% of Republicans.
What’s more, 62% of Hillary voters “have a high level of interest,” compared to 50% of Trump voters.
11 months ahead of the 2018 elections, and this ain’t good for the GOP. Let me tell you something amazing, however – a lot can happen in 11 months!
Perhaps Trump’s approval rating will change from its current 41%. Right now 73% of Republicans like the job he’s doing; 85% of Democrats do not.
Seems low, but that’s actually an improvement from October.
The Roads Remain Unplowed
Back in October – about a month before the municipal elections – Missoula’s Mayor John Engen said he’d be doing more to ensure our side streets would be plowed this winter.
Sadly, this is not happening (surprise, surprise).
It snowed on Friday night, most of the night. Then it stopped and hasn’t snowed since.
So that’s two full days our snowplows could be out there, getting those side streets. But they weren’t. I know this because I dropped my son off at school today and those side streets had not been plowed.
Personally, I feel streets around schools should be given higher plow-priority, as they become heavy-traffic areas twice a day.
Alas…what do I know?
Engen won his election, and while he promised us that he’d do more for our roads, I think we have to chalk that up to a broken campaign promise, perhaps even a lie.
Fox Eyeing the Hen House
Logicosity has an article up today talking about Tim Fox’s designs on the governor’s office.
The article mostly talks about Fox’s moves in regard to Colstrip.
No one cares about this.
Maybe the 2,311 people living in Colstrip care…but that’s not enough votes to win an election.
Maybe the 9,400 people living in Rosebud County care…but again, that’s not a whole lot compared to the state’s population, and I bet many of ‘em don’t vote.
I know that no one I meet or encounter on a daily basis is ever talking about Colstrip. I think when you look at where people are working, you understand why:
Yep, just 2% of Montanans make their living from mining. 98% of us are doing something else.
I’m sure Fox will focus on the 1-and-2% in his bid to become the next Governor of Montana, and that’s fine – we should expect that from him.
No one knows who’s running for governor on the Dem side, mainly because the Dems have such a lackluster bench that any possible candidates are known-quantities, have probably run before (and likely lost their statewide/regional race), and elicit no excitement from Montana voters.
There is absolutely nothing to get excited about when it comes to the 2020 governor’s race.
I don’t know why Dems think Coltrip is a winning issue for them. Personally, I know a lot more people in the state are living in crappy apartments with high rent than are working in mining or coal or what have you.
Doesn’t Tim Fox own a bunch of crappy apartments with high rents? Isn’t he a Helena slumlord?
God, I’ve mentioned this several times before on this site, and even tried to dig into it a bit in Helena.
But no one seems to care. No one seems to think that this kind of class-warfare-campaigning is a good idea.
Well…who would think it’s a good idea? Like I said…there’s no one on the Dem side that’s even entertaining options. There are no campaign staff to dig up dirt, no one compiling a dossier that might have some value and relevance 3 years from now.
I suppose Montanans will be ready to put an R in charge again by that point, anyways. 16 years with a D in charge, and these last few years have been a real wash for ‘em.
Probably best to just lay down and let Fox take this one. Dems might not get the office back until 2029, but hey…they haven’t done much in that office in the past few years, anyways.
The pendulum swings – left…right…left…right…always coming back to the center between the two extremes.
And Who Could Run?
Who might Dems put up for governor in 2020?
How ‘bout Nancy Keenan? Gets paid $6,000 a month, lives in Bonner, and…well, I actually have no idea what it is she does to earn that high salary.
Shouldn’t she be rewarded with the Dem nod for governor?
How ‘bout Pat Noonan? He was in the legislature, lost his PSC bid last year, and has so far passed-up a run for U.S. House in that crowded, 6-person field.
He’s got kids and doesn’t want to abandon them for life in the District of Criminals. But a 4-to-8-year trip to Helena to serve as governor? Possibly.
How ‘bout Amanda Curtis? I'm not sure she’s teaching anymore; she might be doing more on the political/bureaucratic side of things.
She’s not going for the House this year, but could she go against Daines for the Senate in 2020? And if not, how about governor? I’m sure we’ll have a crowded primary field, with at least 4 candidates. Will she be one?
How ‘bout Mike Cooney? He’s got the backup position now, and he’ll only be 66-years-old by the 2020 election. Sure, his wife couldn’t win her judicial race…but so what?
With Bullock focusing on Daines and/or his presidential/cabinet-level ambitions in 2020, you know there’ll just be tons of money for Dems to pass on to the governor’s race, the House race, the legislative races, and the PSC races. Should make it easy for Cooney, eh?
How ‘bout Max Baucus? He’ll be 79-years-old when the 2020 election takes place. He’s currently living in Bozeman, and he recently did a forum on our toxic political discourse.
So he’s keeping his name in the game. We know he has the money - $4 million still left over from his short-lived 2014 run. Rumor was always that he’d give that over to son Zeno for his political ambitions, but we know Zeno has problems with past career moves that could make things hard for him.
Age is the big issue with Max. But gosh…him vs. Tim Fox would sure be interesting.
How ‘bout Brian Schweitzer? He recently said – following the loss of Quist in May – that he was done with Montana politics.
How many people believe that? Of all the people I’ve mentioned, Schweitzer has the best shot. He’s still quite popular, and the ‘controversial’ things he says can in no way compare to the political dialogue we currently have in this country. Aside from that, he’s got that energy book, which has tons of ideas for lots of areas of the state…blue and red areas.
I could list off a bunch of other names – John Lewis, Jenny Eck, Jon Sesso, Dave Wanzenried, Jesse Laslovich – but I just don’t think they have a real shot in the top statewide race.
Mostly, there is no Dem bench and it sure doesn’t seem like there’s any effort to build one.
I can’t help but think this is because the current top officeholders would feel threatened by new names, new voices...new candidates clamoring for the same, limited amount of resources.
Many of these top dogs still feel they have a few more runs in ‘em. They’ll milk it for all it’s worth.
Doesn’t do much to excite me, and I don’t think it’ll do much to excite young or working people in the state.
And that favors Republicans.