A reality based independent journal of observation & analysis, serving the Flathead Valley & Montana since 2006. © James Conner.

19 March 2017

DNC & Quist, Hillary’s historic negativity, a House district too big

Has the Democratic National Committee written off Rob Quist? Sen. Jon Tester’s remarks at the big Democratic dinner in Helena last night point in that direction:

Sen. Jon Tester dismissed that the Montana race would be a referendum on national Democrats.

It remains to be seen how much national organizations, including the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, will invest in the race.

“They’re waiting to see how effective we can run a campaign,” he said. “They’re definitely watching this race.”

Waiting? For what? For polls that guarantee a win? The window for providing effective help is closing rapidly. Absentee ballots go out in four weeks. The time to help, to provide personnel and money, especially money, is now. Otherwise, DNC stands for Do Nothing Committee.

Was Hillary’s historically negative TV ad campaign her fatal mistake? According to researchers at the Wesleyan Media Project, Donald Trump’s television ads were more positive and focused on issues than were Hillary’s, and, by a wide margin. Trump ads addressed concerns of the voters, and promised to “Make America Great Again.” Hillary’s ads denigrated Trump’s character and ignored the voters. Why Hillary thought she’d win votes by ignoring the (deplorable) voters, and demonizing the man who offered them hope remains one of the great mysteries of her campaign.

Montana’s congressional district is among the nation’s least logistically friendly. Of the 432 congressional districts in the Contiguous 48 States, Montana’s is largest in area and population, and has the second lowest population density. If campaign miles travelled per voter were an official campaign statistic, Montana’s congressional candidates would rank near the top of the list.

Montana needs a second congressional district. Increasing the U.S. House of Representatives, which has been stuck at 435 members since 1910, to 700 members would provide that second district. A simple act of Congress is all that's required.