The news that Lieutenant Governor John Walsh has entered the race for Senate has energized Montana Democrats and made a race that seemed worrisome immediately competitive.
While the specific timing of the announcement (late night Wednesday) was certainly odd, in a broader sense his timing couldn’t have been more perfect: announcing his candidacy at the precise moment Steve Daines is demonstrating his preference for radical Republican obstructionism over real governance provides the kind of contrast Walsh will use to his advantage in the campaign.
In the last couple of contested Senate elections here in the state, Montanans, despite a conservative bent, have chosen sensible pragmatists over radical ideologues—and are likely to do so again.
The experience gap will also work to Walsh’s advantage. While each has experience overseas, the fact that Walsh led Montana troops in a war zone as Daines was helping outsource Montana jobs to China offers another instructive contrast about their priorities and values.
This will undoubtedly be a close, nasty race fueled by unparalleled outside spending and we’ll undoubtedly talk a lot more about it here and elsewhere, but the Walsh announcement—coming as Daines is demonstrating his true colors—is perfect timing for Montana Democrats.