Montana Public Radio

2020 elections

As COVID-19 Fuels Uncertainty, Political Ads Hit Familiar Themes

Apr 3, 2020

Tonight on Campaign Beat: Montana leaders have different takes on the federal response to the COVID-19 pandemic. New campaign ads emphasize jobs and values. And political newcomers are likely the most challenged by the shortened campaign season.

Listen now on Campaign Beat, with Sally Mauk, Rob Saldin and Holly Michels.

Montana absentee ballot for the 2017 special congressional election.
Eric Whitney / Montana Public Radio

HELENA, Mont. (AP) — Montana's June 2 primary will be conducted by mail in an effort to limit the spread of the coronavirus. Same-day registration and voting will still be allowed while a new law could mean election results will be available earlier than usual, officials said.

Tonight on Campaign Beat: Primary election ballots are set to be mailed in six weeks. Members of Congress arguably have less influence than governors during the growing pandemic. Montana Republicans fess up to their effort to get Greens on the ballot. And Montana's secretary of state thinks this is "the perfect time for a crisis."

Listen now on Campaign Beat, with Sally Mauk, Rob Saldin and Holly Michels.

Campaign Beat: The Pandemic, The Primary And Third Parties

Mar 20, 2020

Campaign fundraising is tricky during a pandemic. The June primary could be mail-in only. State auditor and congressional candidate Matt Rosendale urges Montanans to get coronavirus testing that may not be available. A well-known Republican enters the Senate race — as a Libertarian. And no one knows how a global health crisis will affect the 2020 election.

Listen now on Campaign Beat, MTPR's weekly political analysis program, with Sally Mauk, Rob Saldin and Holly Michels.

Gubernatorial Campaigns Go Digital In Response To Public Health Concerns

Mar 20, 2020

Less than a week after Gov. Steve Bullock declared a state of emergency in Montana in preparation for a coronavirus pandemic, response to the disease is having an impact on the campaigns of Bullock’s would-be successors. Most of those campaigns have now gone digital, with Democratic and Republican gubernatorial candidates using social media to interact with voters and spread word of the public health emergency.

Election sign at a Missoula polling place.
Josh Burnham / Montana Public Radio

HELENA, Mont. (AP) — Montana Secretary of State Corey Stapleton plans to wait for more information about the coronavirus outbreak before deciding whether to change to the state's June 2 primary elections

In a video posted on Twitter Tuesday, Stapleton said people have asked him whether the primaries should be canceled, postponed, or conducted by mail because of the effort underway to stem the spread of the virus.

How COVID Is Affecting Campaigns; What's At Stake In PSC Races

Mar 13, 2020

The COVID-19 pandemic is altering candidates' campaign plans. New ads in the Senate race focuse on socialism and health care. A slew of so-called Green Party candidates have filed for all the major races. And the outcome of this election could change the public service commission's priorities.

Listen now on Campaign Beat, MTPR's weekly political analysis program, with Sally Mauk, Rob Saldin and Holly Michels.


We now know what Montana’s primary ballots will look on June 2. Monday marked the final day for Montana candidates to file for office. 

Mar. 9 marked the filing deadline for public office in Montana. 

Gov. Steve Bullock files to run for the U.S. Senate March 9, 2020. Bullock joined the race on the deadline for candidates to sign up for the ballot after repeatedly saying he wasn't interested in being a candidate for the U.S. Senate.
Corin Cates-Carney / Montana Public Radio

Gov. Steve Bullock made a late entrance into Montana’s U.S. Senate race Monday. It’s a boost to Democrats’ efforts to gain ground and potentially win control of the Senate in the 2020 election.

Bullock launched his campaign after repeatedly saying he wasn't interested in the job.

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