Health care is key issue as Montana fills US House seat

Those polls have generally shown the Republican candidate, Greg Gianforte leading Democrat Rob Quist by a narrow margin, a result which is somewhat surprising given that the Cook Political Report has given the Montana At-Large District an R+11 District, which generally means that this should be an easy win for a Republican candidate.

Vice President Pence and Donald Trump Jr. have been out to Montana to campaign for their guy, millionaire Greg Gianforte, who made an unsuccessful bid in the 2016 governor's race.

Sometime after 10 p.m. Thursday in Washington, everyone in politics will feign being an expert on Montana or, as they will call it with an insider's flourish, Big Sky Country.

Ryan Zinke's leap to the role of U.S. Interior Secretary left behind a contested seat in Congress, and the race for that seat has become the costliest for a House seat in Montana's history.

Each candidate has raised about $3 million.

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Montana is one of the most dependent states on federal money, partly because about 50 percent of Montana is public land.

But a surprisingly close race won't ease Republicans' growing nerves about the 2018 midterms - and if Democrats pull off a huge upset that could set off alarm bells in the GOP. "There is a slight advantage, based historically, that there has been more "republican" ballots returned, but there is technically no republican ballot and, as you know, Montana is fiercely independent an people will vote fore whomever they want".

"I think you have to hand it to the handlers that are running the Quist campaign".

Montana will hold its special election Thursday.

But that'd be a dramatic shift from President Donald Trump's 20-point victory in the state last fall. Along with Trump's approval rating (now under 40 percent) and the general sour mood in Washington, these races for vacant seats help shape candidate recruitment and incumbent retirement decisions.

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A packed house welcomed Rob Quist at the Loaded Toad coffee shop and Sean R. Heavey gallery on May 18. The Progressive Turnout Project, for example, has spent $14,825 on employees to get out the vote for Quist.

However, Issenberg said the special elections in Montana, Georgia and other states allow activists around the country to focus their efforts on relatively few elections and link supply with activist demand, he said.

He used a bit of his fortune to finance an unsuccessful try for governor, antagonizing even some fellow Republicans who saw a heavy-handed attempt to buy his way into political office.

Sanders, who any day now is expected to unveil a Medicare-for-All bill in the Senate, similarly told the crowd at Montana State University that "Rob and I are going to do everything we can to bury that horrific, disgusting piece of legislation that passed two weeks ago", referring to the AHCA, also known as Trumpcare. The factional battles between the Hillary Clinton and Sanders wings of the party should have ebbed with the election of Trump, an anathema to everything that unites Democrats.

On a related note, Quist's closing message goes after the Republican health care plan for gutting protections for those with pre-existing conditions, while delivering a tax cut for the wealthy.

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