With our measly three electoral votes, pollsters aren’t clamoring to find out what Montanans are thinking.
The only poll I can find was conducted back in Spring 2015 and had Donald Trump beating Hillary Clinton by nine points. That was nearly 15 months ago. Since then, the site has gone from “strong GOP hold” to “moderate GOP hold.”
Trump took the Montana Republican primary with 73 percent of the vote, so he definitely has support, and Sanders beat Clinton in the Democratic primary 51-44 percent, so her base in Montana isn’t that great.
But that was a while ago, too.
It’s hard to admit when you’re wrong: Trump can’t do it and Zinke is bad at it, but one has to wonder if Zinke isn’t rethinking his relationship with Trump.
He wasn’t backtracking yesterday in Missoula, though. From the Missoulian:
“Mr. Trump has good policies,” said Rep. Ryan Zinke during a luncheon at the Hilton Garden Inn. “Sometimes a big mouth.”
Good policies? Well, at least Zinke got the mouth thing right. Zinke goes on to blame the media for Trump’s woes:
“The media is never going to be on his side,” Zinke said. “He’s gonna say the sky is blue and the media is going to call him racist because he didn’t mention red or white.”
(Someone should remind Zinke that “media” is a plural noun.) But of course, it’s all the media’s fault, certainly not Trump’s “big mouth.” The fact the election is probably “rigged” is also a Trump defense.
Zinke alluded to Trump’s assertion that the November election may be “rigged.” “If you see election fraud, then take a stand,” he told the crowd. “Don’t let it go.”
Yup, keep your eyes peeled for that oh-so-pervasive election fraud.
At Trump’s current rate of descent, he could actually lose Montana, and Zinke, by hitching his wagon to the Trump star, will have a harder time holding on to his congressional seat. One can see why they’re getting the corrupt media and rigged election message out in front of the people early and often.
Now Montanans are an independent lot and have been known to split a ticket — a Republican president, a Democratic governor, a Republican congressman, a Democratic senator. Also in play is Libertarian Gary Johnson, and potentially Jill Stein of the Green Party, although signatures are still being collected to get her on the ballot. What the disenfranchised Republican and Democratic voters will do remains a mystery.
It would be a surprise, but less-and-less of one, if Montana went Democratic in the 2016 presidential race. It would be the first time since 1992, when Bill Clinton beat George H. W. Bush (with the help of H. Ross Perot).
The potential is there for a Hillary Clinton/Denise Juneau win.