Republicans say Montana special election is ‘closer than it should be’

Well, yeah:

Republican Greg Gianforte’s closing motivational speech to voters ahead of Thursday’s special House election in Montana is the same thing GOP strategists are whispering in private: “This race is closer than it should be.”

We should not be talking about this race at all, because Greg Gianforte should have put it away long ago. So even if Republicans are playing the expectations game—laying the groundwork to claim any Gianforte win bigger than a point as great news for Republicans—this race is already closer than it should be.

Sure, Montana occasionally elects statewide Democrats like Gov. Steve Bullock and Sen. Jon Tester, but it’s also a state that gave Donald Trump a 20-point margin. And it pits a polished multimillionaire against a musician who has not, to put it mildly, spent his life preparing to run for office. But this is the age of Trump, and here we

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The fight to keep public lands in public hands is at the heart of Montana special election

Rob Quist has made public lands a major focus of his campaign for Montana’s House seat, citing his own love of the land he grew up camping and hiking and kayaking on as well as the economic importance of public land to the state’s tourism and recreation industries. Public lands are also an issue that has special resonance against Quist’s Republican opponent, Greg Gianforte, who lost last year’s gubernatorial race in part because of his history fighting the public part of public lands:

Gianforte’s property abutted the East Gallatin River outside Bozeman and included an easement long used by locals for fishing. (The easement was granted through an agreement with the property’s previous owner.) Gianforte argued that the easement was ruining his property and sued the state of Montana to have to have the area closed off. He eventually reached a compromise with the state, but the dispute fed

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Voting rights court win means thousands of new voters registered ahead of Georgia special election

The fight to elect Jon Ossoff in next month’s special election for Georgia’s 6th Congressional District is also a fight that could help the state’s Democrats build for the future. More than 5,500 voters have been registered since a federal judge ordered the state to allow new registrations until May 21, 30 days before the June 20 runoff election and two months after the deadline the state had tried to impose. Though the deadline has passed, the final tally will grow:

The total includes two types of voter: the newly registered, plus so-called “transfer” applications — already registered Georgia voters who moved into the district after March 20, when the registration period originally closed.

Several thousand additional applications are still pending, although all three counties that have areas that fall within the 6th District — Cobb, DeKalb and Fulton — have been working overtime to process them ahead

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New Brennan Center report details just how strongly redistricting maps favor the GOP nationwide

The Brennan Center for Justice published a major new report last week that uses multiple statistical measures to examine how congressional maps around the country mete out partisan advantages to one party or the other. The study provides detailed mathematical evidence for what redistricting-watchers have long known: The redistricting plans passed in the wake of the 2010 census give Republicans a monumental and consistent advantage nationwide.

Although these tests don’t necessarily determine the root causes of these advantages, states with single-party control over the redistricting process stand out as having the worst disparities between the popular vote and seat counts. (For instance, Donald Trump won Michigan by 0.2 percentage points, but Republicans hold 64 percent of the state’s congressional districts.)

Indeed, Daily Kos Elections’ own past work has used hypothetical nonpartisan maps to demonstrate that intentional gerrymandering is likely responsible for the vast majority of this GOP edge. Other

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Quist highlights pre-existing conditions and Gianforte’s big Trumpcare tax break in final ads

Goal Thermometer

Rob Quist’s final ads of the campaign for Montana’s lone House seat go all in on health care—and with good reason. His Republican opponent, Greg Gianforte, has embraced the wildly unpopular Republican plan, saying he was “thankful” it had passed the House. That’s not likely to play well even in a state that gave Donald Trump a 23-point margin, especially when you consider what Gianforte has to gain personally:

Based on Gianforte’s average yearly investment and wage income from 2005 to 2014, his annual tax bill would go down $785,413 if the AHCA passed, according to an analysis released Friday by the Center for American Progress Action Fund and Tax March, an organization backed by labor unions and progressive groups.

Quist’s final ads are 30- and 60-second versions of the same basic message about the devastating effect the Republican plan would have on people with pre-existing conditions.

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Nuts & Bolts: A guide to Democratic campaigns—messaging 101

Welcome back, Saturday Campaign D.I.Y.ers! For those who tune in, welcome to the Nuts & Bolts of a Democratic campaign. Each week we discuss issues that help drive successful campaigns. If you’ve missed prior diaries, please visit our group or follow Nuts & Bolts Guide.

This week the focus is on your messaging. If you’ve been through any Democratic guided campaign program, you’ve heard a lot about the three C’s: Connect, Contrast, Compel. The concept of connecting with an audience, contrasting with and audience, and compelling action makes up the backbone of most Democratic training surrounding how your campaign or party handles messaging.

Many candidates, though, struggle before they even get to the point of utilizing those steps. This week, we’re going to talk about how to build a starting point for your campaign messaging.

If you have been through programs by organizations like Wellstone, DFA

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Voting Rights Roundup: Supreme Court won’t revive North Carolina GOP’s racist voter suppression law

Leading Off

North Carolina: On Monday, the Supreme Court delivered a monumental victory for voting rights when it declined to hear an appeal from Republican North Carolina legislators seeking to reinstate one of the broadest restrictive voting laws since Jim Crow after an appeals court struck it down in last year. Passed almost immediately after the Supreme Court gutted a key part of the Voting Rights Act in 2013, this voter suppression law was so flagrantly and intentionally discriminatory that the appellate judges declared it targeted black voters “with almost surgical precision.” Monday’s Supreme Court decision means that that ruling will now stand.

Campaign Action

Just how surgical? ​Republicans had literally ordered data on which voting methods black voters used more frequently than white voters, then eliminated those very methods. Some of the GOP’s other changes to the law included a harsh voter ID

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