When I checked the MT SoS page this morning, voter turnout was at 5.1% and 8.6% of precincts were reporting.
Yesterday James Conner had a useful post up on current and previous absentee ballot return rates.
He told us that just 25.5% of the people that were sent a ballot had returned that ballot.
That means that just 173,000 of the 360,000 absentee ballots were used.
I suspect that a few thousand more will be turned in in-person today, and that another 50,000 or so people will vote at the polls.
If we go by the 2006, 2010, and 2014 primaries we can probably bet that overall voter turnout won’t surpass 35% in this 2018 primary.
I expect total turnout today to be around 225,000 votes cast.
If I’m right, that’d be 150,000 fewer votes than were cast in the May 2017 Special Election (379,000 votes).
I could be way off on this, and voter turnout could be a lot higher…or a lot lower.
All we can really do is sit around and wait until late tonight…and probably until tomorrow morning when all the results are in.
As for myself, I dropped my son off at school and then headed into the gym there to vote.
And I have to say…voting was tough for me this year.
The big reason are all the ballots…and I can only choose one.
Yet there’s candidates on each of them that I want to vote for!
- For instance, on the GOP ballot I’d like to vote for Al Olchewski. Like I said last week, he’s the one with the least baggage…should he reach the general. I doubt he will, however…and that’s a damn shame – he’s the best candidate of the Senate bunch.
- On the Green Party ballot, I’d like to vote for Tim Adams.
- On the Dem ballot…well, there are too many I want to vote for.
Remember, here in Missoula almost everyone labels themselves a Dem…even some of the Republicans.
Well, maybe it’s just the Dems that say that about the candidates they don’t like.
There’s a lot of those, but Matt Bell in HD 94 has to take the cake this cycle. He really pissed the Dem establishment off!
Anyways, when push came to shove I voted on the Democratic ballot.
And on that ballot, I only voted in 4 of the 12 or so races. Too many people had no opponents, and I don’t waste my vote on those races…I just don’t use it. There’s no reason to.
Say what you will when it comes to me voting Dem, but there were some candidates I wanted to support…and I did so.
Come November, however, I think I’ll be voting Green in the Senate race, Dem in the House race, and probably Dem in most of the other races.
That said, here’s who I think will win in the primary tonight…and who I’d like to win.
- Who I’d Like to Win: Al Olchewski
- Who Will Win: Russ Fagg
These are my predicted results:
- Fagg: 46,000 votes (34.1%)
- Rosendale: 43,000 (31.8%)
- Olchewski: 28,000 (20.7%)
- Downing: 18,000 (13.3%)
Total GOP Primary Vote: 135,000 votes
Total Dem Primary Vote for Tester: 80,000 votes
- Who I’d Like to Win: John Heenan
- Who Will Win: John Heenan
These are my predicted results:
- Heenan: 35,000 votes (39.7%)
- Kier: 32,000 (36.3%)
- Williams: 15,000 (17%)
- Pettinato: 5,000 (5.7%)
- Meyer: 800 (0.9%)
- Moss: 300 (0.3%)
Total Dem Primary Votes: 88,100 votes
Total GOP Primary Votes for Gianforte: 122,000 votes
- Who I’d Like to Win: Mark Wicks
- Who Will Win: Randy Pinocci
- Who I’d Like to Win: Andy Shirtliff
- Who Will Win: Andy Shirtliff (Brad Johnson in November)
Clerk of Supreme Court
- Who I’d Like to Win: Roger Roots
- Who Will Win: Rex Renk
- Who I’d Like to Win: Michael Uda
- Who Will Win: Janet Ellis
- Who I’d Like to Win: Jon Van Dyke
- Who Will Win: Patrick Weasel Head (but could be Katie Sullivan)
- Who I’d Like to Win: No Preference
- Who Will Win: Nancy de Pastino
- Who I’d Like to Win: Josh Clark
- Who Will Win: T.J. McDermott
Missoula County Commissioner
- Who I’d Like to Win: No preference
- Who Will Win: Josh Slotnick
I expect a high turnout amongst Republicans, but with a large falling off for Gianforte compared to the Senate race.
Gianforte had this problem in 2016 when he ran for governor, losing 25% of the primary vote to his opponent.
Come November, a lot of Republican voters will simply turn their back on Gianforte and leave that race blank.
They’ll do this because of the assault charge.
Conversely, I think the GOP turnout will be much higher in the Senate primary than what Tester picks up.
Come November, this could reverse itself. Lots of people – of both parties – aren’t real fond of voting for a candidate that doesn’t have an opponent, and we’ll see that later tonight with Tester.
So I expect Dem turnout in the House to be higher than GOP House turnout, and I expect GOP turnout in the Senate primary to be higher than what the Dems put up.
What I’m most thankful for is that many of these candidates – and their advertising – will now be going away.
We should have a pretty quiet June from here on out.
Let’s enjoy it while it lasts.
Until then…feel free to make fun of me and mock my election predictions, especially when results come out later tonight.
I might try to put up something else later tonight when it’s all said and done.