The margin of victory for Republican Greg Gianforte was much narrower than polling suggested, but he easily carried the day over Democrat Rob Quist. If Quist would have won, it would have broken a two-decade streak for the GOP in holding Montana’s single at-large congressional seat.

CBS News reports on the race results:

Republican multimillionaire Greg Gianforte won Montana’s only U.S. House seat Thursday despite being charged a day earlier with assault after witnesses said he grabbed a reporter by the neck and threw him to the ground.

Gianforte cruised to victory after weathering a political firestorm, observes CBS Billings affiliate KTVQ-TV. He won 48 of Montana’s 56 counties, the station notes.

Gianforte, a technology entrepreneur, defeated Democrat Rob Quist to continue the GOP’s two-decade stronghold on the congressional seat. Democrats had hoped Quist, a musician and first-time candidate, could capitalize on a wave of activism following President Trump’s election.

Instead, the win reaffirmed Montana’s voters support for Mr. Trump’s young presidency in a conservative-leaning state that voted overwhelmingly for him in November.

Montana’s special election marks the third electoral contest where Democrats had hoped to upset the GOP, but fell short the when it came time for actual voting. This seat in Montana probably wasn’t all that competitive to begin with, but with outside money and attention pouring it, the appearance of a competitive race helped to raise it’s profile and the profile of each candidate.

Then came the hands-on assault of a UK Guardian reported by Gianforte on election-eve and it seemed that maybe it could swing the vote in Quist’s direction. It may have helped him a little but, but so much of Montana votes early that it probably doesn’t matter. This situation perfectly illustrates why I think there are major issues with letting large portions of the voter pool vote early without a good reason. Certainly there were some who voted for Gianforte who might have changed their votes after the incident on Wednesday. Whether or not it would have swung the election is up for debate, but it demonstrates how races can change even up to the last minute.

13 COMMENTS

    • That dynamic is more interesting to me. That the local guy Quist couldn’t overcome the guy from New Jersey in a state like Montana. Then again, it’s a deep red state mostly so this result really is a “dog bites man” story.

      • To be fair, Gianforte has been in Montana for 20 years.

        The close election could be seen as yet another deep red state just barely electing a Republican, but in this case, I think the close election is more about Gianforte being an a-hole, which is even evident in his own commercials.

  1. Winning 48 of 56 countries is a massive win.

    Regarding the fight: Since we are talking about Montana the altercation might have meant more, and not less, votes for the winner, right?

    • It’s entirely possible, sure. And there could have been a mix of voters who changed their votes in favor or against Gianforte based on the altercation.

      But the polling showed him from 8 to 14 points ahead. He finished 5.5 points ahead. Polls are wrong all the time, but I’d put money down to say that overall, the incident tightened the outcome rather than pushed Gianforte’s vote total higher.

  2. I in no way condone of what Gianforte did to the UK reporter. You of course know that this tactic by the liberals of first off having some lackey barging in on a private meeting and them badgering the candidate isn’t over. No, since many states have early voting like Montana, the desperate DUMBOCRATS are going to pull the same stunt as did this Guardian reporter in Montana, only much, much earlier.?

    • Straight Shooter…Since when is a scheduled press conference a private meeting? Ben Jacobs, the UK reporter was simply asking Gianforte’s views on the new healthcare laws.

      In losing self control, and indulging in a tantrum, simply revealed Gianforte’s contempt for you, and for all the people who believe our elected officials (and candidates) owe everyone their attention and answers to all questions. Refusing to engage, dodging the questions, disrespecting the media are tactics employed by gimcrack dictators. Using violence on the news is something more than frightening.
      Every elected official’s job description involves answering questions and keeping the public informed. Dealing with journalists is part of the bargain.

      • You seem to be describing almost every elected official, especially the dodgy, lying, thieving Hillary Clinton. I suppose that most elected officials are just like you and me. The good crooks aka as Democrats are just a little better and hide it well.?

        • Call me whatever you choose, but I do not believe all politicians, regardless of party choice, are all corrupt. I believe before the bell rings for the last time that the good will prevail. Presently we have two parties, each trying to destroy the other, and letting the true needs of the citizens go unnoticed and uncared for. We have a president who thrives on turmoil, whose primary concern is to help himself and the upper 10 percent become even richer. Now that is one big pile of smelly abuse.

          • Are you really trying to tell me that the present day Democrats aren’t playing their constituents for fools? Conducting a witch hunt against President Trump because their Golden Girl BILLARY was shelacked by a political neophyte.?

            Are all Republicans saints, of course not. But as much as the liberals will wish it weren’t, they have to play the hand they are dealt. They were dealt the hand with the Republicans in power. They can whine, moan and obstruct or they can help President Trump make the US the best it can be.?

      • The way I understand it, this was an interview limited to Fox (as usual). The door was open, so the Guardian reporter went in to ask a question–before the Fox interview was set to begin. If it was supposed to be a private event, they should have closed the door. If a reporter sees a subject and that subject is not occupied, it’s his or her job to ask questions.

        So my understanding is that it wasn’t a “press conference,” so the candidate could have simply said he needed to prepare for the interview.

        • Goethe…Fox news reports that the Gianforte attack on Ben Jacobs was in a room adjacent to the volunteer barbeque affair. Fox reporters, Keith Railey and Faith Mangan were setting up for an interview with Gianforte in a room adjacent to the room where a volunteer BBQ was taking place. As the time for the interview neared, Gianforte came into their room. While they were exchanged pleasantries, Ben Jacobs came into the room and ask Gianforte to respond on “the health approved plan that leaves millions uninsured”. Gianforte’s answer was degrading words and a physical attack on the reporter.

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