Five daily newspapers in Montana are endorsing incumbent Democrat Steve Bullock for a second term as governor. The latest endorsement came from the Missoulian’s editorial board in a Sunday column titled ‘Re-hire Governor Bullock’.
Lee Banville, a journalism professor at the University of Montana who’s writing a book on how the media cover politics, says these endorsements are valuable in that each editorial board took the time to sit down with the gubernatorial candidates and talk about the issues, something most Montanans aren’t been able to do.
But Banville says there’s already so much information voters consume about the gubernatorial race that these endorsements aren’t likely to change a voter’s mind.
"When you have fewer pieces of information, an endorsement plays a bigger role. A race like governor or Congress or Senate or for gosh knows, president, it’s going to have less powerful influence on most voters."
Republican Greg Gianforte is challenging Bullock. Gianforte has not been endorsed by any papers in Montana. The Bullock campaign says that’s a news story.
But Gianforte held a press conference over the weekend to again hammer Bullock for not preserving office emails from his time as attorney general from 2009 to 2013. Gianforte calls that, quote, “even worse than Hillary,” trying to tie Bullock to the email controversies dogging the Democratic nominee for president.
Bullock’s administration says it properly handled public records.