In an otherwise positive editorial about the appointment of Mike Cooney as Lt. Governor, they offered this analysis:
The electoral math is evident. In order to win reelection, Bullock needs what every Democratic statewide candidate needs — significant pluralities in Anaconda and Butte.
Just carrying them isn’t enough. He needs margin to make up for Republican strength — in Billings, in Great Falls, and in most rural counties. Even Bozeman, which has turned decidedly bluer in recent years, could be tough sledding if the Bozone’s luxuriantly self-financed Greg Gianforte is the GOP foe.
Great Falls? Given that Cascade County voted 55-40 for Governor Bullock in 2012, it’s hard to argue that its largest city is some kind of Republican stronghold. Billings? Well, Yellowstone County voted 48-47 for Rick Hill in 2012, while Billings resident Roy Brown was crushed by Brian Schweitzer in the county in 2008.
It’s a small mistake, but reflects a pretty limited understanding of the actual situation in Montana politics. It’s the kind of mistake having someone like Chuck Johnson around would probably have prevented.