Montana Politics

Election Math

Recently I came across this gem of a comment:

“So what if montanan dems are a minority? That’s the core of the constituency that is needed to reelect him.”

Lets determine the truth of this statement. Will Montana Democrats determine the outcome of this election? Looking at the last few election years, it’s pretty striking that there are generally in the vicinity of 150.000 to 160,000 votes for whatever Democrat is running against Denny Rehberg. I’d say that’s Tester’s base, the people he can count on. The last time Barack Obama was also on the ballot, Denny got 308,000 votes, give or take. That’s his base – if he were running against Generic Democrat, he could count on that. If Tester is going to close the gap, he’ll have to do it with some combination of energizing people on the left and stealing Denny’s voters. Given that Barack Obama could only get 230,000 votes from Montana, it stands to reason that even if Jon Tester were to energize as many people as Barack Obama, presumably by moving as far left as he has, he would still be 70,000 votes short – even if he didn’t lose anyone in the center.

The other alternative is to take some of the votes that Denny Rehberg is counting on. If he gained his same 70,000 votes (the number he could conceivably gain by moving left to Obama’s position) in this fashion, he would have a fighting chance of defeating Denny Rehberg, because every vote he gains from the center is a vote Rehberg can’t count on. In other words, energizing the base will never get him in nearly the position gaining the support of the center will. We who form Jon Tester’s base may feel like we are very special because supported him first, we were the true fans, but we are a minority, and we will not be deciding this election. All the fawning by liberal true believers is not going to get an ideologically pure progressive in the Senate. It may seem a bit unromantic, but the next six years of legislation (and likely decades of jurisprudence) will be determined by whatever side can win over the undecided centrists while maintaining the pragmatic, perhaps begrudging loyalty of its base.

If you appreciate an independent voice holding Montana politicians accountable and informing voters, and you can throw a few dollars a month our way, we would certainly appreciate it.


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  • Voter enthusiasm is the key.

    I see infighting and bickering amongst your ranks, doesn’t bode well. I started commenting on political blogs shortly before the ’08 race. Your side had excitement, awash in hope and change. Even with that emotional tsunami only 3000 votes decided the election.

    Deflation now rules the day. Denny wins by 15000+ votes.

  • So you are saying the montana dems aren’t Tester’s core constituency? And I never asserted that they would, of and by themselves, “determine the outcome of this election.”

    “If Tester is going to close the gap, he’ll have to do it with some combination of energizing people on the left…”

    Good luck with that one.

    “All the fawning by liberal true believers is not going to get an ideologically pure progressive in the Senate.”

    I don’t know who these liberal true believers are that you speak of, but I sure am not one. Nor do I believe that there is such a thing as an ideologically pure progressive — there’s lots of ideologically pure conservatives among the republicans in the senate, and they’re getting a lot of work done –among the dems.

    The Senate is a broken institution. Putting average politicians into its ranks isn’t going to accomplish much of anything progressive. Go ahead and get 60 dems in the Senate again, just like 2009-10, and see if you can accomplish anything more than they did. Is the country really any better off as a whole than it was in 2009 when they took control? Did poverty decrease? Did wealth inequity subside? Did any progress get made on global warming and climate change? Energy security and alternatives? Labor and voter rights? Immigration? Environmental laws?

    Yada, yada, yada… 4 more years!

    • ” Is the country really any better off as a whole than it was in 2009 when they took control?”

      Democrats were in control for a whole two years (“control”, in that they still could not defeat a filibuster), and you expect them to have an appreciable impact on the macro-economic situation of the country? JC, you’re too funny. Now, I’m not an expert of Democratic politics nationally, but I’d point this out: 13 Democrats in the Senate are from states that voted for John McCain in 2008. Dems had a theoretical 9 member advantage, but 13 of those members were supposed to be representing states that didn’t mind having Sarah Palin as their vice president. Given that fact, what sweeping reforms did you expect Democrats to accomplish?

      Democrats in Montana are not much of a core constituency. They are likely to only get him halfway to the what he needs to win the election. If moving to the center allows him to get votes otherwise destined for Rehberg, it’s worth losing some die-hard Democrats. It’s unfortunate, as obviously it would be nice of loyal Democrats were rewarded for their faith, but they are a minority and the best they are going to get this election is ‘not Rehberg’. Independents and moderates, on the other hand, will be rewarded with a moderate Senator who generally adheres to common sense and reflects the attitudes of the state he is representing.

      • Again, nice to see that you agree that “sweeping reforms” are no longer possible given the makeup and conduct of the Senate. Of course, we need to be afraid that given a conservative majority in the Senate that they would be able to enact sweeping regressive reforms, but that’s not the argument here.

        “a moderate Senator who generally adheres to common sense”

        If you didn’t have the “generally” qualifier here, I’d take on his notion of “common sense,” as it pertains to allowing banks to continue to be “too big to fail”. When banks are too big to fail, it means that the public assumes the risk that they take on, while they pocket the profits. Nothing common sense about that, unless you believe in crony capitalism.

        “Independents and moderates, on the other hand, will be rewarded…”

        Rewarded? How exactly has Tester rewarded independents and moderates during his first term — by allowing them to hunt wolves? Potentially ride their ORVs in once roadless areas? Actually, I think that those who have been rewarded are those lobbyists and banksters who are funding his campaign.

        • “Rewarded? How exactly has Tester rewarded independents and moderates during his first term — by allowing them to hunt wolves? Potentially ride their ORVs in once roadless areas?”

          Those would be two ways, yes.

          We all know you disagree with Tester’s banking votes. I suppose I do as well, but unless you have compelling evidence that Rehberg is going to do better, that’s not a very good argument.

          “Again, nice to see that you agree that “sweeping reforms” are no longer possible given the makeup and conduct of the Senate.”

          Not the makeup of the Senate – the makeup of the country, and the constitution. 31 states voted for George W. Bush AFTER the Iraq war and after he started running deficits and after seeing his true colors for four years. That tells you something about the voters in those states. Indeed, that tells you a lot about the voters in those states. So whatever letter those Senators have by their name, they have a underlying need, and indeed responsibility, to represent faithfully a group of people who thought that George W. Bush deserved a second term in office. How you expect any kind of liberal change out of that group of people is completely beyond me, JC.

          Even Barack Obama only won 28 states – that’s three fewer than George W. Bush did after starting the most asinine war in US history. So, with only 56 Senators hailing from states that could even tolerate the minimal leftism exhibited by Barack Obama, you expect sweeping change far to the left of the president? I’m just asking you to look at the big picture and tell me it is reasonable to ask more from these Senators, that doing so doesn’t ask them to egregiously misrepresent the expressed will of their constituents?

          • The country you paint — one that continually moves to the right — is one I (and millions of others) have no interest in participating politically with. Change will have to come from outside the political system. So go ahead and play your lesser of two evils political games, and playing to the “middle”. I have no interest in that. I’ll continue to critique from the left, and work for change elsewhere.

            So the big picture? Our country is politically dysfunctional (or functions well to do the will of a small minority of oligarchs). Our country is on a tailspin, still building empire as it rots from within. But this is all according to plan. I’m glad I’m not part of that plan anymore.

            • So what’s your game, JC? You’re out of the game but what is your work for change, and how is voting for Democrats interfering with that?

              • PW, my observation is that being Left is not something JC spouts for political effect or approval by others. He lives it in his minimalist lifestyle and his, butt on the line, advocacy. Voting for “scraps” from the Dem table is no longer worth it to him. I suspect there are many like him. Do you not remember how he took Tester to task at his blog over his Wall Street connections?

              • First off, i never vote “democrat.” I vote for candidates who I think will honestly work for policies that I support. That includes third party and write in candidates, who will make up the bulk of my votes that I cast this year. Sometimes I will vote for a “throw the bum out” candidate, when the incumbent is obviously corrupt.

                My work for change? I work for change on many levels, many of them apolitical. Change comes from within. When enough people change, the world changes with them. This was the Obama fallacy, that if we elected him, he would change things.

                My game currently is working with people to build the society within which we would like to live, as the old one crumbles around us. Voting for democrats can interfere with that because we delude ourselves into thinking that politicians can solve our problems, when the only real solutions are those that come from people who are willing to self-critique, and change the way they live.

                And I am not naive enough to believe that enough people would change to think like I or many of my friends and associates do. Therefore the world in which I desire to live is not a majoritarian, an authoritarian, or an oligarchical world. And it will not be achieved through traditional political means.

                • “Voting for democrats can interfere with that because we delude ourselves into thinking that politicians can solve our problems, when the only real solutions are those that come from people who are willing to self-critique, and change the way they live.”

                  Well spoken – reminds me of Kris Kristofferson “I guess I’ll day explainin’ that the things that they complain about are things they could be changin’ hopin’ someone’s gonna care” I agree that the bigger change occurs within society than within politics, and I hope I don’t ever let my interest in politics get in the way of the real work that needs to be done.

                  My real work is done with my students – I’m trying to do my part to close some of the huge inequality in their lives. I’m more heartbroken losing one of them than losing any election. But I can also see the real damage out-of-touch, apathetic, or really cruel politicians can do – that’s why I want to elect the most liberal politicians we can. I don’t see anyway to turn this political train around, the one that’s driving us further and further into John Galt territory. But we can slow it down, and consume less, and buy American, and try to leave something for our kids to salvage. I for one don’t think that what we can accomplish political needs to distract from the work that needs to be done outside of politics – if anything, it can complement it.

  • See Graph 3 at Nancy Keenan was the last Democrat to run a strong campaign against Rehberg. I think your metric understands the size of Tester’s base. I would use his tally from 2006 and adjust it for the expected turnout in 2012.

    I also think your choice of 2008 for Rehberg’s base overstates its size. John Driscoll won the Democratic nomination, then refused to campaign. In every functional sense he threw the election to Rehberg, one of the ugliest acts of political disloyalty and sabotage in Montana history. That’s why Rehberg received so many votes. His vote total in 2008 would have been considerably lower had a credible Democrat, Monica Lindeen for example, campaigned against him.

    This will be a close race, possibly decided by how many conservative votes the Libertarians suck away from Rehberg.

  • I see I am no longer blocked. It takes some people a devilish amount of time to get over their petty acts of virtuous behavior.

    As to the topic, good luck with energizing the Left:

    There are Democrats I expect to be assholes. I never thought Jon Tester would be among them.

    Anybody who votes to punish innocent kids is an asshole. Plain and simple. And while I expect it from Democrats like Ben Nelson and C-Street denizen Mark Pryor, I honestly thought Jon Tester was different. I was wrong. I am now embarrassed that I worked so hard to help get him elected in 2006. I feel personally betrayed.

    Not only will I do absolutely nothing to help his reelection bid, but I will take every opportunity I get to remind people that he is so morally bankrupt that he’ll try to score political points off the backs of innocent kids who want to go to college or serve their country in the military.

    To me, he is the Blanche Lincoln of 2012 — the Democrat I will most be happy to see go down in defeat. And he will. Nothing guarantees a Republican victory more than trying to pretend to be one of them.

    • Craig –

      Jon Tester, in voting against the DREAM act, was following his campaign promise not to vote for amnesty. Perhaps it was a foolish promise, but it’s one me made, and though I supported the DREAM act, I can nonetheless appreciate that it was an honest vote, in line with his campaign promises and the wishes of his constituency.

      Like I noted a few weeks ago, you seem to have noticed that the most effective way to attack democrats is not to argue why your candidate is a good one – just de-energize the left and let your own mediocrity win the day. Do you and JC get together over beers to discuss this strategy, or is it just a coincidence that they do your job for you with such gusto?

      • “de-energizing” the left is not simply the product of a rightwing strategy, Wolf. your bullshit speculation that Craig and JC conspire over beers is a great example of your own strategy of marginalizing criticism, which certainly goes a long way toward that “de-energizing” you are complaining about.

        some of us do understand the math, and have for some time. six years ago Jon capitalized on anti-war sentiment, the organizing energy of those damn hippie environmentalists, and the association of Burns with Washington corruption to eek out a victory.

        it was pretty obvious that to remain in power, Jon was going to have to shift his pandering from the people who helped get him elected, to that mythical center. I think the frustration from some of Jon’s constituents on the left indicates he’s done a fairly good job distancing himself from any leftward drag that may have lingered after sending the farmer with the flattop to Washington. we will get a chance to see if the strategy works this November, and remember, if it doesn’t work, you’ve got the scapegoats firmly established.

        now, I think it’s hilarious you are chastising Craig for not arguing why his candidate is good when a large part of (re)electing Democrats is to use fear to motivate them to vote; fear of the extreme right, fear of SCOTUS appointments, fear of the great evil that will be unleashed if that “de-energized” left doesn’t STFU and vote.

        again, we’ll see if that kind of coercion works in a few months. maybe Jon can make up the votes from the center, like you suggest he’s trying to do, or maybe he can’t, and that drunk embarrassment will be our next senator. since this state seems to be full of people with drinking problems, maybe Denny is an appropriate representative for Montana.

        • “. your bullshit speculation that Craig and JC conspire over beers is a great example of your own strategy of marginalizing criticism,”

          Not marginalizing, lizard. If I were marginalizing you, I would just delete your comments, or not engage your issues. Instead, I wrote posts I know will elicit comments from you and JC. I’m giving you a forum and setting the agenda to focus on your complaints. Maybe that’s foolish; maybe I should marginalize you out of the fear that your scathing attacks on Jon Tester will tip the election.

          But no one wants to do that, lizard. We are embracing the dialogue, soliciting your comments, and then responding to them, hopefully in a logical fashion. This is not tryign to marginalize you, but simply to point out the inevitable conclusion of your complaints: a magnification of the Hurst/Moore strategy of de-energizing the left. Why do I do that? Partially because I believe in the value of dialogue in general, and partially because I think there are people who don’t know if its worth voting, and I’d like to make a compelling case the them that it is.

          now, I think it’s hilarious you are chastising Craig for not arguing why his candidate is good when a large part of (re)electing Democrats is to use fear to motivate them to vote

          That’s almost a fair point. We do tend to focus on why Rehberg is such a ‘drunken embarrassment’. But there is a difference: we are trying to point out the difference between the candidates, to make the argument that Jon is the better Senator. Craig is attempting to show that there is no meaningful difference, and there is no reason to vote. We are trying to encourage people to participate in the Democratic system – they are trying to encourage them to drop out of the system. The historical record is clear on which outcome is better for society.

          • making a ridiculous claim that JC is conspiring with Craig is flame-bait. is that your strategy? push the right buttons to get the response you are looking for, then depict JC as unreasonable, or an emo-prog, or whatever clever label some like to use to be condescending and dismissive? because that can be an effective strategy, if that’s what you’re trying to do.

      • PW, you are letting your imagination run away with you.

        My point was to show that if frogs had wings they wouldn’t bump their asses hopping across the ground. “Wishing” for the Left to blindly follow Tester is such a winged frog. And it’s not just lefty Kos that has major problems with Tester. His FJRA also irritated many other. His stance supporting the XL pipeline has peeled away still other lefties. And so on. BTW, I have never met JC and do not know who he is. He and I have tangled over the years. However, I would enjoy sharing a beer with him. I suggest the next time you are in Missoula, you do the same and take the measure of the man without the pejorative BS nonsense.

        • Whoa guys, the conspiring with Craig was a joke – not intended to flame anyone, merely to point out that JC and Craig, though they come from opposite ends of the political spectrum, are making essentially the same points.

          And I’ve no problem personally with JC – indeed, I’m glad he comments here, because the question of whether Democrats are liberal enough is to me much more intriguing than the question of whether they are better than Republicans. However, I also think it ought to be irrelevant come election day: we are presented with two viable options, why not choose the better one?

          • “the question of whether Democrats are liberal enough is to me much more intriguing”

            Well, As I’ve pointed out many times, today’s democrats do not embrace the forms of liberalism that made their party what it once was–as I tried to point out recently to you guys about FDR’s use of executive orders to limit executive pay as a way to guarantee shared sacrifice as the country moved out of the great depression into WWII.

            Today’s democrats embrace neoliberalism of the form that Bill Clinton made mainstream in the party. So it’s no longer a question of if democrats are liberal enough or not. It is what they have done to the notion of liberalism that disgusts me, and why I don’t associate with being a liberal any longer.

            I have no use for neoliberalism. Particularly when it attempts to become bipartisan with conservatives and neocons. Neoliberalism is just a front that politicians use when they do the bidding of the ruling class. Jon Tester is a neoliberal when he votes for banks and corporations instead of voting for the best interests of the people. MOst neoliberals do just enough voting for social issues to pacify their democrat and independent constituencies, and mollify the critique of the big issues: economy, foreign policy, civil rights.

  • It should be noted that for democrats to “defeat the filibuster,” they only need stop enabling it. They could have done so in 2006, 2008 and 2010.

    Case closed.

    • Again Mark, the problem is not the filibuster, it’s the people the Senators are representing. Were they going to change the filibuster rules in 2006, with 50 Senators (I’m counting Bernie Sanders, but not Joe Lieberman because, come on)? In 2008, with 59 Senators, 13 of whom were from states that voted for John McCain? Or in 2010, with 52 Senators (again, not counting Lieberman), ten of whom were from red states? Again, it’s not feasible without Senators just ignoring the people of their home states.

      • It’s within their means and power to do so with a simple majority at the opening of a session – a simple rule change. Tester voted against doing so.

        I really meant it. Case closed.

        • What I’m saying, Mark, is that even if they could get rightward-leaning Democrats to approve of that (which would have required substantially more party discipline than can be expected when so many Dems come from red states), you will have a hard time finding a majority when the majority of senators come from states that lean Republican.

              • I say that the two party-same financiers model is dysfunctional, you say that there really are differences. I point out that the “liberal” party is actually enabling the right wing party in obstructionism, you say that the enabling is due to their desire to represent their constituencies. So in essence, you are saying that the monolithic party structure enables a monolith of public opinion.

                That’s no-win. Given no win, you say Support the monolith and hope for the effin best.

                I can’t wait to see where you take me next. Keep in mind that your contention that your party’s enabling behavior is really just really just serving constituents who are mostly uninformed and inattentive emphasizes what many of us know and you don’t – that you are quite right. They do represent their consituency, and that this is the problem.

                This is a blog so I should advise you: that was meant to be cryptic.

                • ” So in essence, you are saying that the monolithic party structure enables a monolith of public opinion. ”

                  The reverse, Mark. And public opinion is not monolithic – merely the majority of it. There remain, of course , wings to the left and to the right. More importantly, there are majorities that do support certain more liberal policies. The problem is, those majorities are focused in high-population states on the coasts, which are underrepresented in the Senate. The power of minorities in the Senate is one problem, but the other, bigger problem is constitutional – the Senate gives the same power to very small states as to very large ones. It would be interesting to see what the largest difference between State populations was when the constitution was set up, because it just strikes me as absurd that California has 75 times the population of Wyoming and the same number of Senators.

                  “constituents who are mostly uninformed and inattentive”

                  Indeed. Now, I realize (or assume?) that when you later refer to their constituents you are at least partially referring to financiers. Sure. The biggest problem probably isn’t that the wealthy finance campaigns, but that the wealthy set public opinion, or at least the topics of public debate. That doesn’t, however, mean that we can simply ignore public opinion – that’s what I fear about your philosophy, and that of some others here. You are miraculously non-violent, but you envision a world very different than the one the majority of Americans do, and that doesn’t bother you. That requires either resignation to focusing on your own sphere, or the willingness to use violence and trickery.

                  Like I said, I know you and JC will simply accept trying to better your own spheres, but if the majority of the population dropped out of electoral politics, the natural response for at least some of them is violent, revolutionary politics.

                • As I’ve demonstrated before, majority opinion is not at issue on most matters. True enough, Social Security and Medicare are only still with us due to public support, disabling full frontal attack, but for most issues on which the public is polled, the two parties are far to the right of the public.

                  Now, you might assert that I can judging the nature of people, but I am more inclined to say that the American system of education and our lack of journalism (along with infinite distractions) leaves the public uninformed and indifferent to politics. And as Nader says, when you don’t do politics, politicians do you.

                  So attentiveness to public opinion is pretty much absent except in the words of politicians during the election years. They do pay lip service to get elected, but after go on about their business free of a burrowing press or meddlesome public opinion. If they cross the money people, they are punished. If they cross their voters, who in the hell knows about it except people like you, me, Lizard and JC?

                  And that’s what is going on with Tester. You are attentive and tend to support him no matter what, and others have praised him for mere words. Progressives and environmentalists, paying attention, are abandoning him. As a result, he has to go after even more money to make up for lost votes, putting him even deeper in corruption. But don’t blame us. Blame you. Money holds him accountable, progressives and environmentalists as well, while you do not. You (generic) are the reason he gets away with the things he does.

                • “You (generic) are the reason he gets away with the things he does.”

                  Indeed. But I’d rather he get away with those things, than him be ‘punished’ by electing Rehberg. Like I said, hold your Senator’s feet to the fire in Colorado, in Washington, in California, and certainly in Vermont. But in Montana, progressives and environmentalists are too small of a constituency to do so effectively. They can punish Tester, but they can’t elect anyone more liberal. Jon represents us (Montanans), whether we (progressives) like it or not.

                  The long term solution? Weaken corporate America. Buy non-corporate products, or buy corporate products made in higher labor-cost environments. That adds value to workers who work for higher wages, and helps correct the labor-owner wealth imbalance. However, even if the political system does not hold our salvation, it can be our ruin. America still has a lot to lose – assistance for the unemployed, the disabled, the young and the old still have plenty of room to be cut. We can’t afford a Republican Senate majority, or another Republican president, or more conservative justices. Even if the solution lies outside politics, we can’t give up all opposition – the potential agenda of our opponents is too radical, even if our our own candidates are not liberal enough (remember when Chavez’s opposition stopped voting in Venezuela? I imagine they are regretting that decision now).

                • Tester putting his name on the bus is not going to help him with the Left:

                  WASHINGTON D.C. — U.S. Senator Jon Tester (D-Mont.) joined thousands of other Americans in supporting the message of the American Energy Alliance (AEA), which is currently promoting affordable energy and manufacturing jobs in a nation-wide bus tour through major energy producing states. Stooping to sign his name on the AEA Products and Power bus, Sen. Tester encouraged AEA to “keep up the great work.” Tester’s name is now added alongside other leaders, including Michael Reagan, son of former President Ronald Reagan, Rep. Heather Wilson, Republican candidate for the seat of retiring New Mexico Senator Jeff Bingaman, Montana State Senator Jason Priest, and New Mexico State Senator Gay Kernan.

                  “The American Energy Alliance welcomes Sen. Tester’s support of our effort to educate the American people about the promise of our affordable domestic energy sources. Montana’s oil and natural gas industries currently employ more than 40,000 residents, and the state is in the middle of a proposed path for the Keystone XL pipeline that President Obama’s policies have halted. The state is also home to more than a quarter of the country’s estimated coal reserves, which despite the EPA’s efforts to kill the coal industry keep thousands of Montanans employed and have made the state’s electricity prices about 25 percent lower than the national average,” AEA Director of Communications Benjamin Cole noted.

                  “Affordable energy should not be a partisan issue. Next week, as we take the American Products and Power bus tour to Tampa for the Republican National Convention, I am proud that Jon Tester’s name will remain prominently displayed on our 45 foot, 51,000lb, 6mpg diesel-running bus.”

                • Now we’ve reached a point of agreement regarding Tester, and your assertion is that regardless of his behavior in office, he is better than Rehberg. Maybe so, but I’m not a nose-holding voter. And I am not convinced he is indeed better.

                  1): we don’t know the importance of votes he casts. We know that MCV and others tally votes, but the only votes that matter are those where had he voted the other way he would have changed the outcome. Those are few, and are not highlighted. So I think it is safe to ignore voting behavior. We don’t know what it means.

                  2): we don’t know his behind-the-scenes work, except for certain instances. With FJRA we know that he actively conspired with industry collaborators to introduce and pass legislation that would achieve goals long sought by an ineffective Conrad Burns and his supporters. We also know that this legislation was unnecessary, so that the impulse behind it was industry-driven.

                  3): we don’t know how effective Denny Rehberg will be, if elected. If indeed, as this website constantly reminds us, he’s a drunk and uninspiring leader, then perhaps we are better off merely thwarting his efforts while he holds office. At least in that way we are not submarined by a supposed fellow traveller. It is much more difficult to fight false friends than true enemies.

                  Given that Tester has alienated his progressive supporters, and so has to appease the right wing to gain lost support; given that we cannot judge his goals by his voting record; given that we know he conspired against progressive and environmental ideals behind the scenes; and given a weak and ineffective Rehberg, maybe it is better to take a pass on either and hope for better candidates down the road.

  • I think the GOP lost the battle for senate here, when Romney people were picked, over Paul people for the National Convention. The war on women, Rehbergs and the MTGOP’s treasons to fishing and hunting folk…. Romney’s Ryan pick scaring the Oldsters down here badly…..

    I think Tester’s gonna win impressively, I am giving him a 7 point lead Election day. I also believe following Nate Silvers Data that Obama will close the gap in Montana and be closer to winning then he was in 2008. Again it will be because of the Independents and libertarians being punked and dissatisfied with Romney and the Republicans. Just saying!

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