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Friday, May 26, 2017

Republicans Hang On to Montana, Despite Body Slam

By Douglas V. Gibbs
Author, Speaker, Instructor, Radio Host

In the Presidential Election of 2016, Donald J. Trump won Montana with 55.6% of the Vote.  Hillary Clinton achieved 35.4% of the vote.

In the Montana special election to fill the vacated seat of Ryan Zinke, who was appointed as U.S. Secretary of the Interior and sworn in last March 1, the gap was much narrower.

Republican Greg Gianforte, after man-handling a reporter from The Guardian, finished the election with 50.2% of the vote.  He won the lone seat Montana has in the U.S. House of Representatives, but by a much more narrow margin than Trump had won the State last November.

Democrat Rob Quist (a music entertainer in his other life) achieved 44.1%, more than ten percentage points higher than Hillary Clinton achieved only six and a half months before.

The confrontation with a news reporter that led to a physical body-slam by Gianforte may have been a factor, but Trump derangement syndrome may have been, as well.  The fact that Gianforte won despite the body-slam may also be a message that the Democrat Party's "resistance" strategy may not be working as well as they have hoped.

Then again, we are talking about rosy-red Montana.

The interesting twist concerns Gianforte's change in position regarding Donald J. Trump as President of the United States.

Prior to last year's Montana Republican Party Primary, then gubernatorial candidate Gianforte was not as big of a fan of Donald Trump as he seemed to be during his successful congressional run that was decided beyond a shadow of a doubt early this morning.  In fact, last year, the then candidate for governor tried to distance himself from Trump.

This year, perhaps it is a matter of "hindsight is 20/20."  When the doubts by Gianforte existed a year ago, Trump was labeled as an impossible candidate that not only could not beat Hillary, but if he was the candidate, it was considered that it would be Trump's fault the GOP lost its opportunity to return to the White House.  In fact, at one point last year, Gianforte declined to attend Trump's one rally in Montana.  In November, he said of Trump, "he says obnoxious things."  After the dust settled, Gianforte was the only Republican running for a statewide election in Montana not to win last November, likely as a result of Trump's voters abandoning his drive for governor at the ballot box.

A year later, Donald Trump is the victor, and resides in the White House.

Gianforte's gubernatorial loss, and Trump's presidential win was enough to convince multimillionaire technology entrepreneur Gianforte to go all in on Trump, especially since it was time to seek a political office, again.  And, it seems to have worked, despite his altercation with the Guardian reporter.

Gianforte, during his run for Congress, has even begun to sound like Trump, co-opting Trump's"drain the swamp" catchphrase, and pledging to advance Trump's agenda.

It seems that many in the Republican Party, who were content to stand against Trump a year ago, have followed the same path as Gianforte, and move into the "Trump is my president" camp.  If Trump can survive the Trump derangement syndrome being portrayed by the Democrat Party and liberal left media, the new found support for Trump by a larger number of Republicans can be good for Trump, and good for a political party that has been roiled in civil war, and is desperate to eject the moderate establishment so that the GOP may follow its more conservative platform.

-- Political Pistachio Conservative News and Commentary

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