US News: GOP Primed to Break Big Sky Losing Streak

Aaron Flint posted on April 15, 2014 12:06 :: 895 Views

The GOP is primed to break a Big Sky losing streak.  The appointed Senator John Walsh (D-MT) is added to National Journal’s losers list, while former Lt. Gov. John Bohlinger (D-MT) is called “the x-factor.” And- given the closeness of the polls, all three Democratic US Senate candidates will now debate in Great Falls next month ahead of the June primary. 

That and more is included below.  But first, you’ll want to check out this interesting article from David Catanese (formerly of Politico) with US News & World ReportUS News & World Report: GOP Primed to Break Big Sky Losing Streak

According to Catanese, former Congressman Denny Rehberg’s (R-MT) own pollster never had him leading the US Senate race in 2012.

“Denny thought he was going to win,” says (Bob) Moore, who has been conducting surveys in Montana for three decades. “It wasn’t based on the polls. We kept saying, ‘Denny, you’re not ahead, you’re not ahead.’ We never had Denny ahead. Through the Monday night before the election, we had him down four.”

There’s another Senate race in the Treasure State this year. And if Democrats are to prolong their streak – and hold the seat of former Sen. Max Baucus – they’re going to have to pull off another surprise. Republicans are heartened this is the year they’ll finally crack the code in Montana, mainly because their candidate, Rep. Steve Daines, is no Denny Rehberg and their likely opponent, Sen. John Walsh, is no Jon Tester.

Daines’ team calculates Tester’s likability gap over Rehberg made it difficult to ultimately alter positive perceptions about the incumbent.

As for Democratic US Senate candidate John Bohlinger (D-MT), US News’ David Catanese calls him “the x-factor.” And, Bohlinger basically said that the appointed Senator Walsh (D-MT) is waiting on his advisors to tell him what to say next.  Click here for the full column.

Meanwhile, National Journal places the Walsh campaign in the losers column

Even with the added benefit of incumbency, Democratic Sen. John Walsh, who was appointed to fill the Montana Senate seat vacated by Sen. Max Baucus in February, was outraised by his likely Republican opponent in the first three months of the year.

Rep. Steve Daines brought in about $1.2 million and finished the first quarter with roughly $2.2 million cash on hand. At $947,000, Walsh raised a decent sum, but ended March with just $700,000 on hand.

Like Begich, it’s never a good sign when the challenger posts a larger haul than the incumbent—even if Walsh has only been one for about two months. The race was already viewed as an uphill battle for Walsh, and these figures support that notion.

In a sign of how close the Democratic primary race for the US Senate truly is here in Montana, the establishment-backed Walsh has now even agreed to a debate with former Lt. Gov. Bohlinger and Dirk Adams. 

The Great Falls Tribune has this:   

The Great Falls Tribune will host a candidate forum featuring the three Democratic candidates running for the U.S. Senate.

Interim Sen. John Walsh, former Lt. Gov. John Bohlinger and Wilsall Rancher Dirk Adams have committed to participating in the May 3 debate at the Benefis East Campus Cameron Auditorium.

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