For years, Montananer have taunted nongovernmental experts and journalists who characterized the state as “deep red,” ignoring its centuries-old purple due to a legacy of union activism and general pragmatism that divides the tickets
That changed on Tuesday. Red is now just as bright in Montana as it is in the surrounding states of Idaho, Wyoming, and Dakotas.
Republican Senator Steve Daines parried a challenge from Governor Steve Bullock to keep the US Senate in Republican hands. Representative Greg Gianforte (notorious for beating up a reporter on the eve of his 2017 special election victory) easily defeated Lieutenant Governor Mike Cooney and completed 16 years of Democratic tenure in the governor’s office. Matt Rosendale, the Republican accountant, defeated Democrat Kathleen Williams, who had lost to Gianforte two years earlier in seeking the same seat.
The Republicans increased their majority in both houses of the legislature. And with 76 percent of the votes counted Wednesday morning, the GOP called for all nationwide voting races – attorney general, accountant, state secretary and superintendent of state schools.
“I do not know that [such a complete sweep] never happened, ”said Chuck Johnson, a longtime Montana political journalist who is now retired. Pages rustled as he searched an electoral atlas in Montana year after year until he came up with the 1936 election of Franklin D. Roosevelt, a Democratic reflection of the Republican escape on Tuesday night.
Montana didn’t just become Republican on Tuesday. It was deeply conservative Republicans. For the last two-year legislatures, the Democrats, with the help of a group of moderate Republicans known as the Solutions Caucus, have successfully enacted laws like the expansion of Medicaid.
But the Solutions Caucus saw his ranks thinner In the June primary, some of its members lose to more conservative candidates who refer to themselves as 38 Special, complete with nameplates adorned with the branded ammunition.
“This is not Marc Racicot and Bob Brown’s Republican Party,” said Rob Saldin, professor of political science at the University of Montana. Racicot, who served as governor of Montana from 1993 to 2001 and headed the Republican National Committee in 2002/03, announced his intention to vote for Biden shortly before the election. Brown, a former State Secretary of Montana and Senate President, issued a “declaration of independence” for the Republican Party of Montana rolled into one Open Julyin which he called Trump a “deadly joke” and a “villain” and Daines and Gianforte his “puppets”.
Saldin said Democrats have also suffered the loss of “personality cult” candidates such as former Senator Max Baucus and Representative Pat Williams, who served in these positions for 36 and 18 years, respectively, prior to retirement. as well as former governor Brian Schweitzer, whose oversized personality played a prominent role in the reporting.
Baucus started its successful convention campaign in 1974 from 630 miles through Montana on foot;; Four years later he was elected to the Senate and rose to chair the Senate Finance Committee. Later he was ambassador to China. Williams advocated work and art, the latter through his Support for the National Endowment for the Artsand earned him the nickname “Porno Pat” by Conservatices. The family is its own political dynasty: his wife, Carol Williams, was Montana’s first female Senate majority leader, and their daughter Whitney led an unsuccessful campaign for the Democratic nomination for governor that year.
“These people had their own personal brands that were at least a little different from the party brand,” Saldin said.
But if a candidate is more of a generic Republican or Democrat, “it’s just slaughter,” he said.
Fred Thomas, Senate Majority Leader, chose a different term.
“This election in Montana was a landmark choice for this state. The state has finally set the course where we and the public officials are 100 percent moving in the right direction. … We have hoped and prayed for a long time and now the time has finally come. ”
Just as Democratic governors and lawmakers have teamed up with the Solutions Caucus to pass laws, Democratic governors have exercised their veto power – or, in Schweitzer’s case, governor from 2005 to 2013. a sizzling veto branding iron that set fire to hard copy of doomed Republican-backed bills – to defeat Republican-backed legislation on issues such as abortion restrictions.
Vetoes will not be necessary now. 16 pages by Gianforte Montana Comeback Plan includes measures such as stricter approval requirements for the Medicare expansion that came into force in 2016, which now covers almost every tenth Montaner. In 2019, with votes from the Solutions Caucus, lawmakers voted to continue Medicaid’s expansion, albeit with the Addition of work requirements.
Gianforte, a software entrepreneur and the richest member of the house, with a vow to stimulate the state’s economy by lowering taxes and regulations.
“We need to ease the burden on our hardworking families so they can thrive again,” he said in the declaration of victory.
Thomas said the legislature’s first job is to look closely at the state budget. “Almost everyone in the public has had a haircut in one way or another, and now the government will too,” said Thomas.
Thomas, like Gianforte during the campaign, cited the impact on Montana’s economy of the statewide shutdown imposed by Bullock at the start of the Montana coronavirus pandemic.
“It seems like a lot of politics has been played with the Covid-19 virus epidemic and the emergency rules,” said Thomas. Bullock eased those restrictions in June, and the infection rate in Montana has skyrocketed in recent weeks fourth in the nation in terms of per capita cases.
Thomas used a different measure. “In terms of mortality, the virus ended in May in Montana,” he said. Montana had seen from Wednesday 35,955 cases and 404 deaths from the virus – all but 16 of these deaths have occurred since late May.
Veteran Montana political reporter Mike Dennison received one Draft legislative agenda, in more detail than Gianforte’s draft, which was drawn up by the House Republicans in anticipation of his victory. Its goals include restricting the powers of health officials to impose Covid-19 restrictions, expanding public support for private schools, and eliminating same-day voter registration.
The Montana Democratic Party issued a concise statement in response to Tuesday’s findings:
“Creating good jobs has never been more important. Protecting access to quality, affordable health care has never been more important. It has never been more important to ensure that our public schools are ready for the challenges of our time.
“Montana faces serious challenges and the Montana Democrats will continue to face them face-to-face – as we have always done,” said party executive Sandi Luckey’s statement.
Williams, the former congressman, took the long run. “When we have a great democratic victory, my political friends whine and roar and blow their horns. [saying]Now the Republican Party is dead and the Democratic Party will rule forever. In order to [on Tuesday] The Republicans had a very good night. But there are more nights to come. ”