The storyline is as clear as they come. Democrat Rob Quist is a born-and-raised Montanan, a well-known musician who’s entertained folks around his state and around the world for decades, and a political newcomer running on the populist values that run deep through Montana’s bloodstream.
His opponent in the May 25 special election to replace former Rep. Ryan Zinke, who just trotted off to become Donald Trump’s interior secretary, couldn’t be more different. Republican Greg Gianforte is an ultra-wealthy businessman who ran a failed campaign for governor last year, and a huge reason he lost that race was because he embodied the opposite of those Montana values: Gianforte became justly infamous when it came out that he’d sued the state to block public access to a river along which he owned property—this in a state where reverence for hunting and fishing is paramount.
It’s the perfect test, then, of a populist outsider versus an out-of-touch one-percenter, which is why Daily Kos is proud to endorse Quist’s campaign. But this is still Montana, though, an extremely red state that Trump carried by 20 points in November, and it’ll be a very difficult contest to win. Democrats, however, have had success winning statewide here—look at Gianforte’s loss just four months ago—so victory is possible, and it would shock the hell out of the GOP.
But Gianforte can flood this race with as much money as he likes, just as he did last year, when he spent more than $5 million out of his own pocket. Fortunately, Montana is a cheap state, and our dollars will go far, though in the face of his opponent’s extraordinary wealth, Quist will need all the help he can get.
So please give $3 to Rob Quist today to help him turn Montana blue—and stun Republicans everywhere.