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Trump records robocall for Montana special election


And there's no telling who will turn out, or who will be particularly energized, for an oddly scheduled election: a Thursday in late May.

Sen. Bernie Sanders spent the weekend barnstorming Montana for Democratic candidate Rob Quist, and by Monday, the House special election in the state had been moved closer to being a toss up.

The Montana special election race for the House seat vacated by President Trump's Interior secretary, Ryan Zinke, is "closer than it should be", said the Republican candidate, Greg Gianforte. As such, the party is split on how much it should have invested in the campaign.

While Donald Trump Jr. and Vice President Mike Pence have campaigned for Gianforte, the race has been less about Trump, given that he won the state easily. "Please donate at least one hour to calling friends and family to make sure they vote Thursday, May 25th", Gianforte said.

Rob Quist, left, and Sen.

Progressives certainly seem to think so.

The sum is especially remarkable - or alarming - because of the 85-day campaign period for a special election. The race is Quist's first foray into politics, but the native Montanan has decades of name recognition from years of performing his folksy tunes around the state. Although Montana was won by Trump in 2016, a poll in April only found Gianforte with a 6-point lead over his Democratic opponent, folk singer Rob Quist.

Quist's characterization of the bill isn't entirely accurate, and the U.S. Senate likely will make substantial changes before passing it. The factional battles between the Hillary Clinton and Sanders wings of the party should have ebbed with the election of Trump, an anathema to everything that unites Democrats.

"It's really important for the Democratic establishment to stop hedging their bets and limiting themselves", he said.




But it could allow those people to be charged higher insurance premiums or direct them into state high-risk insurance pools. The renegotiated legislation will return to the House, where every vote will be critical.

Republicans: Did we have to do too much to win? .

Republicans are not split about how to approach Montana.

But that'd be a dramatic shift from President Donald Trump's 20-point victory in the state last fall.

Republican strategists say they're anxious that the race has tightened, while national Democrats say their polling shows the race has remained out of reach. Quist has said his financial troubles stemmed from medical complications from surgery, and he's used that talking point to tap into the liberal fury over the GOP health care bill.

Turnout in rural Montana counties, where Republicans do well, has been strong with more than 70 percent of absentee ballots returned by rural voters, according to Montana's secretary of state.

So, they say, better to be safe than sorry. Six months ago, he earned almost 47 percent of the vote, losing to Democratic Gov. Steve Bullock.

Another Republican strategist working on the 2018 midterms took a dim view of the Republican campaigns in both Georgia and Montana. They've had to watch their backs in some of the reddest districts in the nation. But what happens in Montana on Thursday will raise more questions for both parties than answers.

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