As of today, the U.S. presidential election is undecided with four states, North Carolina, Georgia, Nevada and Pennsylvania, still counting ballots and their corresponding electoral votes still up for grabs.
One thing is certain though – the oft-predicted national blue wave sweeping Republicans from office didn’t happen.
There wasn’t even a blue splash. In fact the GOP appears certain to retain control of the U.S. Senate and they even picked up 5 seats in the House after many media prognosticators expected dozens of Republicans to be sent packing.
There was a wave in Montana however. In fact it was a tsunami at the statewide level. And it was all red.
Every Republican on the statewide ballot won. Every Democrat lost. Every single one.
- Gianforte beat Cooney in the gubernatorial race by 12 percentage points.
- Knudsen beat Graybill for AG by 16 points.
- Downing beat Morigeau for Auditor by 16 points.
- Bennett lost to Jacobsen for SOS by 20 points.
- Romano lost to Arntzen by 12 points in the state School Superintendent race.
In addition, Rosendale won Montana’s lone House seat by beating Williams by 12 points and President Trump carried the state by 16 points.
Perhaps most surprising is the margin of Governor Bullock’s loss to Steve Daines in the Senate race – 10 points.
And the red wave also washed over Cascade County, which was once considered a Democrat stronghold.
Cascade County Republican candidates for the state legislature completely swept the field and defeated every Democrat on the ballot.
The red wave in Great Falls/Cascade County even carried away three incumbent Democrat legislators including Jasmine Krotkov, Barbara Bessette, and surprisingly even Brad Hamlett. All three lost to relatively unknown local political newcomers.
This GOP sweep in Great Falls is unprecedented in the last 40 years or so.
In my opinion it can be explained, at least in part, by the extreme liberal positions of three of the Democrat local candidates: Melissa Smith, Jasmine Taylor and Helena Lovick.
These three were very outspoken and very public about items in their collective agenda, items which included defunding local police, climate change extremism, and anti-Second Amendment positions.
These ‘progressive’ positions and far-left policy ideas are well outside of the Great Falls/Cascade County political mainstream and I believe they hurt ALL of the local Democrat candidates by association.
Could that dynamic be extrapolated to the state and national election results as well? Maybe.
But I feel pretty certain that the very liberal and very public profiles of Smith, Taylor and Lovick pulled other local Democrats under with them as the red wave washed over this state and local election.