The Midterms - Montana and Idaho
Today we round out our final One House Rep state with Montana and start on 2-Rep states with Idaho. Montana is actually a state that occasionally elects Democrats. Idaho is...not. But they are both very pretty, come on Silicon Valley people, wouldn't you rather live near all the pretty mountains and good skiiing???
MT is having quite an important Senate race this year. Incumbent Democrat Jon Tester has managed to keep his seat here despite this being a generally Red State, and we need to do everything we can to make sure he hangs on this year. Keeping this seat is essential. His opponent is State Auditor Matt Rosendale, and he will be tough competition.
The At-Large House seat is one Dems are hoping to capture this year, after narrowly losing a special election in 2017. Greg Gianforte is to put it mildly, a total jerk who assaulted a reporter, and really shouldn't be entrusted with voting on laws. The Dems have a great nominee in former State Rep Kathleen Williams, and she could use your support! She is endorsed by Emily's List a a pro-choice Dem woman. Cook has this race as Lean Republican, so in a wave year this is definitely a seat we could get.
At the state level, half of the State Senate seats are up. To take control, Dems would need to flip 8 seats, which is a tall order. At the very least Dems need to hold the line, because if Republicans get 2 seats, they would be able to override the Democratic governor's veto. Some races to watch:
SD12 (Great Falls): Carlie Boland is the incumbent Dem running for election in this split district. She narrowly lost the seat in 2014, but was appointed to it when it became vacant. This district went narrowly for Obama in 2012, then swung back and voted solidly but not overwhelmingly for Trump.
SD13 (Great Falls): Bob Moretti is challenging the Republican incumbent here in another Obama/Trump district. Hopefully we can swing it back!
SD24 (Billings): Mary McNally is the incumbent Dem running for re-election here in a pretty evenly split district, so she should be good as long as she gets good turnout!
SD32 (Bozeman): Pat Flowers is challenging the Republican incumbent here in this close to evenly split district. With some good turnout, this could be a good pickup!
SD41 (Helena): An open Dem-held seat, we need to hang on to this one! Janet Ellis is our woman. Its a pretty solid Dem district, but let's not take it for granted!
SD42 (East Helena): Dem incumbent Jill Cohenour is running for re-election in this closely split district, she is going to need solid turnout here!
SD49 (Missoula): Diane Sands is a Dem incumbent in an Obama/Trump district, she definitely needs our support for re-election.
In the State House, all 100 seats are up! Dems would need to get 10 seats to get control, and again need to avoid losing more than 8 seats to prevent a veto-proof majority. There are a large number of Dems in Trump districts, so we need big turnout! Races to watch:
Most endangered Dems:
HD3 (Hungry Horse): Zac Perry is up for re-election in this DEEP Red district.
HD21 (Great Falls): Leesha Ford is running for this Dem held open seat, in a district that was fairly close in 2012 but swung FAR to Trump!
HD23 (Cascade): Brad Hamlet is running for re-election in this Obama/Trump district.
HD24 (Great Falls): Barbara Bessette is trying to hold this Dem open seat in an Obama/Trump district.
HD26 (Great Falls): Casey Schreiner is running for re-election in this district, another example of close in 2012 with a hard swing to Trump.
HD48 (Billings): Jessica Karjala is running for re-election in this Red-tinted district.
HD50 (Billings): Another Dem open seat in another close in 2012 far in 2016 district. Jade Bahr is trying to hold it! She is endorsed by the PCCC.
HD60 (Livingston): Laurie Bishop is running for re-election in this Obama/Trump district.
HD77 (Anaconda): A Dem open seat in an Obama/Trump district, Mark Sweeny is trying to hold it.
HD93 (St Ignatius): Eldena Bear Don't Walk is trying to hold this open seat that we juuuust got back in 2016. Its pretty solidly Red here, so we need good turnout.
Most flippable opportunities!
HD7 (Kalispell): James Cossitt is challenging the incumbent here. This is pretty Red district, so its a bit of a stretch, but you never know!
HD22 (Great Falls): Laura Dever is challenging the incumbent here, in this close2012/swingtoTrump district.
HD25 (Great Falls): Jasmine Krotkov is challenging the incumbent in this Obama/Trump district.
HD51 (Billings): Darryl Wilson is challenging the incumbent in this pretty Red district.
HD52 (Billings): Despite this being a pretty Red district, its an open seat, so a good time to take a run at it! Amelia Marquez is our candidate, she is endorsed by Our Revolution and the PCCC.
HD64 (Bozeman): Denise Albrecht is is challenging the incumbent in this moderately Red district.
HD65 (Bozeman): Christoper Pope is challenging the incumbent here. This is a very BLUE district, and thus an excellent pickup chance!
HD92 (Missoula): Lee Bridges is challenging the incumbent here, in this moderately Red district, endorsed by the PCCC.
HD96 (Missoula): Thomas Winter is challenging the incumbent here, in this Red-but-not-that-Red district.
HD97 (Missoula): Patrick Maloney is challenging the incumbent here in this moderately Red district.
Montana has several interesting ballot initiatives this year. Top in interest for me is the proposal to continue the expansion of Medicaid (as 33 other states have done) and pay for it by increasing cigarette taxes. Though I won't weigh in on whether or not a cigarette tax is is the best way to fund it, keeping the Medicaid expansion is wonderful and saves lives.
On to Idaho! There aren't really a lot of Democrats in Idaho, It was Hillary's 5th worst state.
There are races for Governor and other state executives, but if any Dems win here, it would be a miracle, and would mean we'd taken over the entire country. Neither of the House races are considered at all competitive either.
At the state level, the whole State Senate is up! Dems are of course, in single digits. Still, you have to start somewhere! Races to watch:
SD5 (Viola): David Nelson is challenging the Republican incumbent in this narrowly Red district.
SD15 (): Jim Bratnober is challenging the incumbent in this pretty Red district, but its still the 2nd best pickup opportunity :)
SD26 (Ketchum): The Dem incumbent Michelle Stennett might have a tough race in this Red district, so she needs turnout!
SD29 (Pocatello): Mark Nye is our incumbent here, also hoping to keep his seat in a Red district.
In the State House, all seats are up as well, and Dems have 11. Yup. There are not many Dems in Red districts or vice versa, so not a lot of obvious races to watch but here are the 3 least Red races:
HD5A (Moscow/Genesee): Margaret Gannon is trying to win over this open seat.
HD5B (Moscow/Genesee): Laurene Sorensen is challenging the incumbent here.
HD26A (Fairfield/Gooding): Muffy Davis is challenging the incumbent.
HD26B (Fairfield/Gooding): Sally Toone is the Dem incumbent here, might be a tough race.
HD29A (Pocatello): Chris Abernathy is challenging the incumbent.
HD29B (Pocatello): Elaine Smith is the Dem incumbent and will hopefully keep her seat!
Idaho does have one very important proposition on the ballot - Prop 2 to take the Medicaid expansion. This expansion is awesome and helps thousands of people, and will hopefully pass on a bipartisan desire to expand health insurance. And if it drives up turnout, so much the better!
So that's our remaining 2 "small" yet enormous Red States! Let the party building begin!!!