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When people discuss potential candidates for the Democratic nomination in 2016, we see a list of all the heavyweights the Northeast has to offer: Clinton, Cuomo, Warren, O'Malley, Gillibrand, Biden, etc. I do not mean this as a criticism of any of these candidates or the people endorsing them. But out west, we have a Democrat who is the most popular governor in the country - in a red state.

While Democrats can and will continue to win elections with the current coalition, this country's future will get a lot brighter a lot faster if they can get the rest of the country on board with a forward-looking agenda. Like it or not, progressives will need large majorities if they want to retake the House this decade.

Governor Schweitzer ran 11 points ahead of Kerry in 2004 and 18 points ahead of Obama in 2008. He's maintained high approval ratings and he even had enough coattails to help fellow Democrat Steve Bullock succeed him as governor this year.

While governing a lily-white Safe Republican state with a Republican legislature, he has expanded wind power and access to higher education. Wind power could turn the Inland Empire into this century's biggest exporter of energy, but only if progressives lead the way.

Schweitzer has shown that you can win with people like Montanans without being a Republican or a Blue Dog. So far, he's got my vote for 2016.

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Congressional approval ratings are at historic lows, and the President's aren't so hot either, although they are improving. Americans are fed up with how little is getting done in DC. Although people who follow these matters closely know who is responsible for this, the media and general public spread the blame around to everyone. When votes on cloture for popular ideas like the Buffet Rule fail, the media report that the Senate rejected them, as if both parties got together to vote it down, when in reality a minority prevented the Senate from even HAVING a vote. This information deficit can and should be addressed.

Dean Heller, Sarah Steelman, Scott Brown, Connie Mack, Tommie Thompson, Jeff Flake, Linda Lingle, Denny Rehberg, Heather Wilson, Rick Berg, George Allen, and anyone else running for a Senate seat this year should all have to answer the question of whether or not they will use the filibuster to prevent the Senate from holding actual votes. Even people who are opposed to some of the things the Senate is trying to do are sick of DC doing NOTHING. Republicans should have to take responsibility for the gridlock they have deliberately caused, and their candidates should have to make their position in favor of that gridlock known.

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