Should Republicans Be Worried About Gianforte?

It’s been a good start for the Montana Democrats in their campaign to paint Greg Gianforte as out-of-touch with Montana and Gianforte hasn’t done much to help himself. First, the Democrats spoiled Gianfrote’s announcement by leaking his filing before he could. Then, they launched a thorough site  exploring Gianforte’s take on education, social security, “dark money,” etc. Montana Cowgil also pointed out that Gianforte’s campaign is being run by a bigot who supports the secession movement and Troy Carter of the Bozeman Chronicle highlighted some ethically questionable political contributions from Gianforte and his family.

Clearly, Democrats were doing a better job driving the Gianfrote narrative and Gianforte didn’t help himself by inviting Speaker John Boehner to come to Montana for a fundraiser. The Democratic Party is now parading around a clip from KRTV news highlighting Boehner’s visit. You can watch the clip HERE.

Boehner makes it even more difficult for Gianforte to distance himself from his disparaging comments towards seniors and Social Security. It becomes harder and harder to believe it when Gianforte says his comment that people should work until they die is being taken out of context.

Today, The Rothenberg & Gonzales Political Report moved the Montana gubernatorial race from “Democrat Favored” to “Leans Democrat,” so make no mistake that this will be a tough race, especially with Gianforte self-funding his campaign. That said, Gianforte’s campaign is showing more stumble than muscle in the early days and that should worry Republicans.

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  • Rothenberg & Gonzales never should have rated this contest “Democrat Favored.” Bullock won 2012 with a plurality. His fate may hinge more on whether there’s a credible Libertarian candidate than on whom the Republicans choose as their nominee.

    Given how much some Democrats think Gianforte hurt himself by accepting fundraising help from Boehner, an out-of-stater and thus by definition a scoundrel, should Democrats hope that Bullock doesn’t embarrass himself by bringing in an out-of-stater such as Harry Reid or Elizabeth Warren to headline a fundraising dinner?

      • “It’s not whether you get knocked down. It’s whether you get up.” Vince Lombardi

        “It’s not important who starts the game, but who finishes it.” John Wooden

        It is my opinion, give that whatever weight you wish, that the MDP has shot its load at Gianforte too soon. The effort was to knock him out of the race before he even began it. Yeah, he had a rough roll out. But the problem with an initial crippling blow is that you haven’t much left if that fails, and this likely has.

        As with most questioning headlines, both online and other, the answer would be “no”. Republicants shouldn’t be worried about Gianforte. I suggest that Democrats should.

      • Yes, he has. That’s not atypical for first time candidates. Sometimes one learns more from a mistake than from something that goes right by accident.

        I am surprised Gianforte didn’t have a full website in the can, ready for instant upload the moment he filed his C-1 (the Democrats clearly did). A lot of legislative candidates make this mistake, but a statewide candidate should not, and almost all experienced statewide candidates do not; witness Jesse Laslovich and Brad Johnson.

        If his rough rollout is a one-time stumble, it will have no lasting impact. But if it’s just the first hit pothole in a campaign featuring seat-of-the-pants administration, the nuts will start coming off the bolts at some point.

  • Super helpful article and title!
    What a delight to read!

    My two cents: Seems that The Speaker refused to bring immigration legislation to a House vote. Apparently he disparages immigrants, in both meanings of disparage.

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