By Dustin Hurst | Watchdog.org
HELENA – Many Montanans head to the polls today to cast their ballots after enduring months of attack ads and campaign literature exploding from their mailboxes.
As the election draws to a close, a number of Treasure State residents cautiously await returns, anxiously hoping their candidate scores a decisive victory.
These voters don’t agree on much, from politics to policies to personalities, but most agree on a single principle – they’re just not ready to discuss the 2016 election.
On the Montana Watchdog Facebook page, Montanans spent Monday sounding off on their favored candidates. They offered their insight into who will pull off the big wins after county clerks finish tabulating the votes.
While the nation focuses on the presidential election, Montanans seem more concerned about the tight U.S. Senate race between incumbent Democrat Jon Tester and Republican Denny Rehberg.
The comment reflected the downright vicious nature of the contest.
“I hope Tester wins,” wrote Ann Coffman of Bozeman. “We don’t need another drinker in D.C. Denny can’t stay away from the booze and we all know Washington is full of it.”
Others took personal shots at Tester.
“Lord, I hope Denny wins,” wrote Linda Stundahl. “We don’t need another Soros buckle bunny in Washington. Seems like Montana is full of them, too.”
Tim Ravndal of Townsend took a different course, slamming both candidates.
“At the end of the day, Montana wins!” he scribbled. “Either way the vote goes, we remove one of the two evils that are self-serving politicians seeking power. Neither are statesman and both deserve to be home.”
Down a step on the ballot, Montanans must select Democratic Gov. Brian Schweitzer’s replacement, who’s leaving office because of term limits. Republican Rick Hill and Democratic Attorney General Steve Bullock seek the post.
Folks seemed no less passionate about this contest.
“Rick Hill will destroy everything you love about the state of Montana,” Drew Franko of Great Falls warned about the Republican candidate.
“Because of my personal experience with Bullock and seeing that he did not fulfill his obligations as attorney general, I would never vote for him for any office,” chided Grass Range’s Jeannie Walter.
The race for Montana’s congressional seat between Republican Steve Daines and Democrat Kim Gillan sits quietly in the background.
“Are we not tired of the Grand Old Party’s rhetoric,” said Joseph Lafromboise while also predicting a Gillan triumph.
Dave Anderson of Great Falls didn’t travel so far as to endorse Daines, but expressed utter disappointment in Gillan’s grasp of critical issues. “Kim Gillan demonstrated her fundamental lack of understanding of Cascade County economics at the Bozeman debates,” Anderson scorned. “I in no way endorse the Republican agenda, but Gillan proved singularly unimpressive.”
Bipartisan consensus emerged only when Montana Watchdog asked Facebook friends about the 2016 election, an event a paltry four years away. And why not; campaigns and outside spending groups have spent more than $30 million bombarding Treasure State residents with television and radio ads and mailbox fliers.
“Just stop it,” Bozeman’s Cherie Colvin demanded. “We haven’t had this election yet and you are already gearing up to harass us for the next 4 years.”
We don’t call it harassing, we call it entertaining or informing, but whatever.
“In the name of He and is all good,” Dave Galt of Helena pleaded, “quit that. We are not ready yet!”
“Seriously?” Dillon’s Brenda Jonson-Love queried. “This election isn’t over and we are already start on the one 4 years down the road? REALLY?”
Well, sorry to upset everyone.
Through the partisan bickering and playful jabbing, one Montanan says he’s ready to focus on country and not politics.
“You folks are adorable,” mused Bozeman’s Rob Kailey about his post-election sentiments. “I’m going to feel like the American people spoke and elected whomever they thought served their interests the best.
“In short, I’m going to be proud of being American.”
Well said, Rob.
Contact: [email protected] or @DustinHurst via Twitter.