Flathead County went big for Republicans two years ago, voting red for every statewide and federal office. But Flathead Democrats are pushing for a blue wave from local races to Montana’s lone U.S. House seat. This afternoon we sent Nicky Ouellet to hear what voters in the Flathead are thinking on election day.
Nicky Ouellet: The election official at the door said they've seen a pretty steady stream of folks coming in to vote at the Kalispell fairgrounds which is the voting location for about a dozen different precincts in the greater Flathead Valley. Right at the gate. There are a number of Republican candidates waving signs and waving flags. Cars have been streaming in pretty steady since I've been here. The parking lot is quite full.
Shawn Campbell: First name Shawn last name Campbell.
Nicky Ouellet: Can I ask what's on your mind this election day?
Shawn Campbell: America. That's really what it's about. I think that we finally got a president that's doing the right things. And I think that we need to get people in our Congress and in the House to support him.
Nicky Ouellet: Do you see this midterm election as a referendum on Trump?
Shawn Campbell: I do, absolutely. I think it has a lot to do with Trump. The way I look at it is President Trump is our president. And we need people to support what he's doing. And he was elected by the nation to lead our nation. And I think he's gotten great results so far. And I just think, like I said, he needs the support.
Nicky Ouellet: Anything else?
Shawn Campbell: That's it.
Nicky Ouellet: Thank you so much.
Keary O'Dell: I have no use for Trump or the Republicans whatsoever.
Nicky Ouellet: This is Keary O'Dell.
Keary O'Dell: Usually I don't vote in the midterms, but this is first time in a long time that I have, just for that reason.
Nicky Ouellet: Do you see this election as a referendum on Trump, or ...
Keary O'Dell: Yes I do. I very much do. Even if, you know, the Republican side wins some of these races like they're expected to, I think just the numbers should say something.
Nicky Ouellet: Are you paying attention to the down-ballot races or any of the ballot initiatives?
Keary O'Dell: I did pay attention to the tobacco tax initiative. Did not agree with that at all. I don't see why penalizing people who may be addicted to tobacco does anybody any good just as a quick revenue source.
Nicky Ouellet: How do you feel about Medicaid expansion?
Keary O'Dell: That I think they should do. Yes.
Nicky Ouellet: The Legislature should find a different way.
Keary O'Dell: Yes.
Nicky Ouellet: Can we start with your first and last name?
Morgan Maguire: Morgan Maguire.
Nicky Ouellet: Do you consider yourself a regular voter?
Morgan Maguire: Yes.
Nicky Ouellet: Have you voted in past midterms?
Morgan Maguire: Yes.
Morgan Maguire: How are you feeling about this one?
Morgan Maguire: A little scared, a little nervous. I'm afraid of Matt Rosendale and I'm afraid of Greg Gianforte. They scare the hell out of me. So I voted for Tester.
Nicky Ouellet: What is it about them that scares you?
Morgan Maguire: They're just devious. I think they're dishonest. I don't trust anything that they say.
I voted for Trump because I knew he would disrupt things. I knew that he would come in and shake things up so much that it would piss people off to the point where they would stand up and say 'no.' They would say no to the corruption in Washington D.C. They would finally become aware of what is really going on with our politics, with our government. And he did. He has shaken things up and he's made enough people mad enough that they're inquiring, they're finding out, they're getting, they're asking questions or getting answers. And so for that, I salute Trump. But he's done it now, and now he needs to go away.
I want to see politics changed to where the candidates aren't so vicious with each other. I would like a candidate to say, this is what -- these are these are the topics that I support. My opponent is a good man. He sees things differently. But you don't have to drag them through the mud. I mean, I want people to be nice to each other. I want us all to just get along. And I think our politics divide us. Trump divides us.
Voter voices from Flathead County gathered by MTPR's Nicky Ouellet.
Find live results for Montana's races here starting once the polls close at 8 p.m. And tune in on your radio or online for NPR's special election coverage from Montana and around the country, starting at 6 p.m.