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I hear you already. "Montana? A whopping 3 electoral votes? Almost 100% red since the 60's?"

Look under the surface.

If you only look at presidential races, this is what you would see:

- Gore loses Montana by 25 points in 2000 (man, those 3 little EVs would have been nice)

- Kerry loses Montana by 21 points in 2004 (while electing a Democratic governor)

- Obama loses Montana by only 2.2 points in 2008 (of course turnout is way up, but it shows that the support is there to be tapped. Re-elected a Democratic governor)

2012 may still be a longshot for Obama in Montana, but high-level Democratic dollars in the state is a winning investment, even if Obama loses those 3 EVs.

Exhibit A: Senator Jon Tester is in a reelection fight against the current (and only) Representative, Republican Denny Rehberg.

Exhibit B: Rehberg's House seat is an open race, and the boon for Democratic candidate Kim Gillian could lead to a House seat pickup.

Exhibit C: Governor Brian Schweitzer, a two-term but term-limited Democrat, remains popular, and the money can help to elect Steve Bullock as his successor.

Exhibit D: All of these successful state-level Democrats can then increase the numbers for Obama.

Exhibit E: Due to the state's low population, It would take less money to produce big returns on the investment. A million bucks is a drop in the bucket for a state like Ohio, and it barely moves the polls there. A million bucks in Montana could produce a big swing in votes.

For a Senate hold, a House pickup, a gubernatorial hold, and an outside chance to steal 3 red electoral votes, the DNC and the Obama campaign should divert at least some of their 2012 cash toward Big Sky Country.

Discussion welcome, especially from those within the state or tied to it; as I am viewing this from an outsider's perspective.


Would the DNC be wise to spend money in Montana in 2012?

74%44 votes
13%8 votes
11%7 votes

| 59 votes | Vote | Results

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Comment Preferences

  •  Tip Jar (19+ / 0-)

    Best race ever - MI-AG(2002) - Cox vs. Peters. Either way it's just a bunch of dicks.

    by Arbo on Tue Jul 31, 2012 at 05:09:10 PM PDT

  •  I voted yes (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Shockwave, HoundDog, janmtairy

    For one thing, I like Governor Brian.

    For another thing, well, dang it, I just plain like Montana!  If I thought I could make a living (and I could bring my dog trainers, horse trainer/riding coach) with me, I'd move there in a heartbeat.

    For still another thing, after the debacle in Ohio that lead us to Bush v Gore II and its unintended and tragic consequences, I think that no state can be taken for granted.  

    Even if it's a great big place, full of empty, albeit beautiful empty, with a laughable 3 electoral votes.

    Spend a little coin in Big Sky Country.  I'm pretty sure we won't regret it.  

    Don't practice. Train.--Brian Harvey

    by luvsathoroughbred on Tue Jul 31, 2012 at 05:20:11 PM PDT

  •  50 State Strategy (6+ / 0-)

    Montana is very deserving of some DNC love.  I agree!

    We have nowhere else to go... this is all we have. (Margaret Mead)

    by bruised toes on Tue Jul 31, 2012 at 05:23:03 PM PDT

  •  I like it (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    HoundDog, Renee, ParkRanger, janmtairy

    Strategic thinking on the cheap.

    We are all in the same boat on a stormy sea, and we owe each other a terrible loyalty. -- G.K. Chesterton

    by Keith Pickering on Tue Jul 31, 2012 at 05:28:58 PM PDT

    •  Yup (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      The GOP will have more money, so the Dems need to have smarter money. I see Montana as a "more for less" kind of place in this regard.

      Best race ever - MI-AG(2002) - Cox vs. Peters. Either way it's just a bunch of dicks.

      by Arbo on Tue Jul 31, 2012 at 06:01:31 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Big fan of the 50 state strategy. (7+ / 0-)

    And even without that, Montana has potential.  Thanks for this.

    "The next time I tell you someone from Texas should not be president of the United States, please, pay attention." Molly Ivins

    by janmtairy on Tue Jul 31, 2012 at 05:29:44 PM PDT

  •  Another 50 state strategy fan here. (4+ / 0-)

    Poverty = politics.

    by Renee on Tue Jul 31, 2012 at 05:41:04 PM PDT

  •  There was a time (5+ / 0-)

    not long ago when the conventional wisdom within the Democratic Party was to blow off Nevada, Colorado, New Mexico and Virginia.

    Those who suggest Montana is not worth the effort should remember that.

  •  Absolutely ! We live in a small mountain (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    janmtairy, Arbo

    community in Montana and pick up local TV stations from Billings--typically the local ABC affiliate.  I have been pleasantly surprised about the fairness in which this station presented Obama Care, they were very fair and made a point of listing most of the benefits.  

    The local political ads for Rethugs are sort of typical, half-truths, exaggerations, etc., but I haven't seen any of the crazy tea party type ads here. Tester (D) is running mostly positive ads; however, this race has gotten a little ugly when Rehberg (R) ran a spot using his cancer stricken mother accusing Tester of not supporting cancer funding.  

    All in all, I think Montana should be in play for us Dems: Montana has a Democratic Governor, and two Democratic Senators: Baccus and Tester.  And Obama Care is getting a fair treatment here and from my own personal observation Obama Care is well received; however, that is speculation on my part and I don't have any Polling data to back up my assertion.

    "It took us a couple of days because I like to know what I'm talking about before I speak." President Barack Obama 3/24/09

    by sfcouple on Tue Jul 31, 2012 at 05:44:44 PM PDT

    •  Awesome (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      sfcouple, Andrew F Cockburn

      I thought of this based purely on numbers and graphs, thank you for the human perspective. If others feel as you do, this crazy idea might actually work if the Dems were to run with it.

      Best race ever - MI-AG(2002) - Cox vs. Peters. Either way it's just a bunch of dicks.

      by Arbo on Tue Jul 31, 2012 at 06:05:41 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  I support such efforts to invest in red states all (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    janmtairy, Arbo, Andrew F Cockburn

    out, for all the reason you suggest, plus others.

    One recent analysis shows that for independents seeing the "Romney is not the solution, but is the problem" ad even one time, causes a 10% shift in our favor!


    I'm fully aware of the maximizing return on investment model that suggests focusing our total investment on the likely swing states, but imagine if we were to invest just enough in states like MN, AZ, SC, TN, KY, TX, SD, or maybe even all 50 states and swing the total background percentages by 5% in our favorites, we might devastate the GOP psyche leaving them looking like, and feeling like losers.

    Activating the "success to the successful - failure to the failed" system archetype could yield rich dividends in undermining GOP volunteerism, GOTV, participation rates, causing independents, and even some GOP to flee the "minority - loser" image and affiliation.

    We also plant seeds to make these state swing states in future elections.

    Also, if we force the GOP to defensive investments in their safe states, not only to we divert some of their $1 to $1.5 billion in expected expenditures out of the 'tipping point" swing states we need like OH, VA, CO, IA, FL, NC. or or own "lean states" where they intend the same kind of mischief.

    An additional advantage of activating the StS dynamic is that if states like MN, AZ, SD, SC, TN, KY get to battleground status, some of the potential  GOP donor, volunteers, and activists may well say, "what's the point, it's a losing cause," and stay home or keep their money in their pockets.

    Keep up the great work Team Democrats MN, and other Red States.  Some of us are totally supporting you!

    The means is the ends in the process of becoming. - Mahatma Gandhi

    by HoundDog on Tue Jul 31, 2012 at 05:46:23 PM PDT

  •  Dear Obama Campaign: Invest in Texas. (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    janmtairy, Andrew F Cockburn

    It's big.

    You can't make this stuff up.

    by David54 on Tue Jul 31, 2012 at 05:47:01 PM PDT

  •  I support the effort. Montanans do not have (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    janmtairy, Andrew F Cockburn

    The racial/cultural barrier issues as compared to the deep south.  They understand the value of entitlements; they have a healthy respect for the environment; they like forthrightness; and they probably understand the ACA better than most due to their proximity to Alberta (one of the wealthiest Canadian provinces).  Unfortunately I don't think we have extra money to throw around in the wake of Citizens United.

    Alternative rock with something to say:

    by khyber900 on Tue Jul 31, 2012 at 06:00:06 PM PDT

  •  Plus, Clinton won Montana (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Andrew F Cockburn
    •  Yes he did (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Andrew F Cockburn

      In 1992 the state went for Clinton, although the argument can be made that Ross Perot helped quite a bit by siphoning from Bush. Clinton lost by less than 3% in '96, when Perot was much less of a factor.

      Best race ever - MI-AG(2002) - Cox vs. Peters. Either way it's just a bunch of dicks.

      by Arbo on Tue Jul 31, 2012 at 06:39:06 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  I think the 50 state strategy It is the only way (0+ / 0-)

    to win in the long run.

    This country is the most mobile and inter-connected society in history. If Obama and the national Democrats write off big chunks of the country, that has an impact down the road when people move from those states to swing states. It also matters when they talk to friends and relations in other states. The Obama campaign has publicly written off West Virginia, but we share hundreds of miles of border with Ohio and Pennsylvania. What do they expect us to say to our neighbors across the border? I don't expect them to put significant resources here, but at least they could pretend that they care. Montana has a much stronger case.

    Second, we need to develop a farm team of promising politicians who will be the next generation's leaders. The right wing is always looking for young prospects who are willing to sell out to the corporate interests.

    Finally, you never know when an unexpected event may provide an opening, as in OH-14 this week. We have probably lost a good pick up opportunity because we didn't have a strong candidate in place.

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