Friday, May 26, 2017

Greg Gianforte Body Slams a Reporter and His Opponent in the Montana Special Election

     Republican Greg Gianforte won at the at large Montana House seat last night by defeating Democrat Rob Quist by a margin of 50.2%-44.1%. Gianforte won convincingly in spite of being charged with assault for allegedly body slamming a journalist. Maybe journalists are so unpopular, assaulting one is not a political liability. Or perhaps the electorate is bracing itself for a potential White House bid from Dwayne Johnson.
      In all seriousness, it is incredible a candidate won a seat in congress after being charged with assault. There are candidates who threatened physical violence, but never any who were charged. Much tamer scandals derailed candidates in recent memory. Often, an ill-advised statement or accidental slip of the tongue is enough. For a candidate to win a seat in Congress within a day or so of an assault charge is amazing.
    What you are going to see now is a whole lot of analysis on how the Montana elections results predict the 2018 midterm elections. Some will tell you the Democrats are doomed I they cannot even beat a candidate who body slammed a journalist. Others will tell you Democrats are looking good because their candidate kept the results within single digits in deep red Montana. Allow me to let the cat out of the bag—this election does diddly to predict the 2018 midterm elections, but pundits re not paid to tell you they do not have any real insight.
      There is a lot of stuff that can happen between now and November 2018 to swing the election either way. Donald Trump is unpopular now, but he may not be at that point. The party in power—the one in control of the White House—usually loses seats. But all politics is local. Beating on a reporter might not have a big effect in Montana, but it probably would in Michigan. It is districts in places like Michigan that re a bigger deal in midterm election. Those are the moderate areas that could swing from Republican to Democrat. They are also the districts that cannot be predicted by a special election in a Republican strong hold like Montana a year and a half before Election Day.

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