MTPR

2018 elections

Voter values, 2018 Montana Elections Surveys. Data collected by the Human Ecology Learning & Problem Solving (HELPS) Lab, Montana State University‐Bozeman.
Cassidy Alexander, via Datawrapper / Montana Public Radio

New data released from a survey of Montana voters reveals details in the state’s political divides. It shows what voters think of candidates not originally from Montana, whether people think teachers should be able to carry guns in schools, and voters preferences on government spending and their trust in the news media.

The information comes from a pre- and post-2018-election poll from Montana State University and the Montana Television Network.

The Forces Behind Montana’s Sky-High 2018 Voter Turnout

Dec 17, 2018
U.S. 2018 General Election Turnout Rates
Leia Larsen / Montana Pree Press

Montana saw high voter participation in the 2018 midterm elections, even for an election noteworthy for remarkable turnout nationwide.

Spending by Candidates In Montana's U.S. Senate Races, 2000-2018. Data: opensecrets.org, fec.org
Corin Cates Carney

The candidates for Montana's two contested seats in Congress this year, and their supporters, spent more than $76 million over the last two years in their election campaigns.

The U.S. Senate race between Democrat Jon Tester and Republican Matt Rosendale brought in most of that money, making it the most expensive election contest in state history.

President Donald Trump and Republican Senate candidate Matt Rosendale on stage during a July 5, 2018 rally in Great Falls, MT.
Corin Cates-Carney

An environmental SuperPAC says environmental messaging helped swing a handful of tight midterm races last month, including Montana’s hotly-contested U.S. Senate race.

The League of Conservation Voters Victory Fund urges future candidates to remember these results.

“And if they don’t, I think it will be at their peril," says  LCV Victory Fund’s Pete Maysmith.

State, County Officials Differ On Montana's Voting Needs

Nov 16, 2018
Voters in Clinton, Montana, cast ballots during the 2016 elections.
Rebekah Welch / UM School of Journalism

HELENA, Mont. (AP) — The midterm elections saw a record number of absentee ballots overwhelm voting machines in some Montana counties, found election officials in a dozen smaller counties still hand-counting votes and underscored the need to replace hundreds of aging and broken voting machines for the disabled.

Tester picks up votes in Trump country, and Montanans continue a long tradition of ticket-splitting. Governor Bullock has his hands full with another Republican-led Legislature, and this election stands out in many ways from previous Montana mid-terms. Sally Mauk, Chuck Johnson and Rob Saldin break it all down in this season's final installment of "Campaign Beat."

Montana Vote Totals, Absentee Returns Set State Records

Nov 9, 2018
Sample Montana ballot.
Montana SOS

HELENA, Mont. (AP) — More voters cast ballots in this week's election than any other midterm in Montana history, and only two presidential elections have had higher voter numbers.

The secretary of state's unofficial results from Tuesday's election puts total turnout at 497,393 voters. That's the state's third-highest total behind the 516,901 people who voted in 2016 and the 497,599 in 2008. 

Montana Republicans Retain Legislative Control

Nov 9, 2018
Montana Legislature balance of power, 2019 vs 2017.
Timothy Pierce, Community News Service, UM School of Journalism

Although all votes have yet to be counted, Montana Republicans will hold a legislative majorities in both the Montana House of Representatives and Senate.

The majorities will give Republicans the power to elect leaders of both the Senate and the House and choose committee chairpersons at upcoming party caucuses in Helena.

In Jon Tester’s narrow re-election to the U.S. Senate, he won the support of seven Montana counties that had voted for President Donald Trump in 2016.

Several of the counties that backed Tester this year were not just casual Trump supporters in 2016. The president won a couple by more than the 20 point margin he received statewide, including Lake County.

Ads about I-185 from Montanans Against Tax Hikes and Healthy Montana.
Montana Public Radio

With nearly all Montana precincts reporting, 53 percent of voters opposed a proposal to increase the state’s tobacco tax.  Forty-seven percent supported it.

I-185 was the single most expensive ballot initiative in Montana history. Final fundraising tallies aren’t in yet, but tobacco companies poured more than $17 million into Montana this election season to defeat Initiative-185. That’s more than twice as much cash as the initiative’s supporters were able to muster. Most of that money came from the Montana Hospital Association.

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