Montana Public Radio

Rob Quist

U.S. House candidate Rob Quist at a campaign rally in Missoula, April 27, 2017.
Josh Burnham

In the final hours leading up to tomorrow’s special election to fill Montana’s lone U.S. House seat, Democratic candidate Rob Quist is squeezing in a few final visits with voters, and making use of social media. 

Quist’s campaign Facebook and Twitter pages are flooded with testimonials from voters:

U.S. House candidate Greg Gianforte at a "meet and greet" with supporters in Great Falls, MT, May 23, 2017.
Corin Cates-Carney

The candidates in Thursday's election for the state’s lone seat in the U.S. House are anticipating a close finish, and it’s fueling a final push for voter turnout in the final days on the campaign trail.

The GOP’s Greg Gianforte held the first of three "meet and greet" events Tuesday morning in Great Falls. He stood among a couple dozen supporters under a pavilion at a city park, where local Republican leaders supplied coffee and donuts for the chance to mingle with the candidate.

Gerry and Chuck Jennings, volunteers for Democrat Rob Quist's campaign, go over their door knocking assignments Monday in Great Falls
Corin Cates-Carney

With just three days remaining in the race to become Montana’s next congressman, both major parties are working their ground games. And the candidates are hitting the state’s population centers in final efforts to get their bases to the polls.

Greg Gianforte, Rob Quist and Mark Wicks at the MTN News debate April 29, 2017.
Screen capture courtesy MTN News

In the final week of the special election for Montana’s lone U.S. House seat, Congressional hopefuls are packing in numerous stops around the state.

Sen. Bernie Sanders campaigns for Rob Quist in Missoula, May 20, 2017.
Josh Burnham

Bernie Sanders’ first campaign stop in Montana for Democratic U.S. House candidate Rob Quist drew thousands, enough to mostly fill the Adams Center arena on the University of Montana Campus in Missoula.

Eric Whitney: Howdy and Welcome to "Capitol Talk," our weekly political analysis show. I'm Eric Whitney filling in for Sally Mauk. And I'm here with the University of Montana political science professor Rob Saldin. Chuck Johnson is out this week.

Rob, it's now less than a week until voting ends in Montana's special election for its seat in the U.S. House on Thursday. I suppose it's not surprising that the campaigns are slinging a lot of mud at one another lately.

Greg Gianforte (L) and Rob Quist (R) are running for Congress in a special election to fill Ryan Zinke's seat.
MTPR News

Candidates and outside groups are dumping more than $12 million into Montana’s short special election race for the U.S. House, surpassing the spending in last year’s race by $3 million. That’s according to the latest federal campaign reports filed this week.

Mark Wicks was the Libertarian candidate for Montana's U.S. House seat in the 2017 special election.
Courtesy Mark Wicks

While about $12 million is financing the U.S. House race between Republican Greg Gianforte and Democrat Rob Quist, the Libertarian candidate says contributions to his campaign are just starting to roll in. The main party candidates have each brought in over $3 million to fund their campaigns.

Outside groups have dumped millions more, picking sides between the Republican and Democrat, according to federal election reports. Those reports also show that Libertarian candidate Mark Wicks has raised $2,030, coming entirely from individual donations.

Many Democrats are hoping the GOP health care bill that narrowly passed the U.S. House of Representatives is going to push political momentum their way, and result in big gains in the 2018 midterm elections. A special election next week in Montana may be an early test for this theory.

Republican Greg Gianforte won Montana’s special election May 25, 2017.
Rowebotz (CC-BY-SA-4.0)

Republican U.S. House candidate Greg Gianforte picked up the endorsements of three of Montana’s largest newspapers over the weekend. 

The Missoulian, the Helena Independent Record, and the Billings Gazette all endorsed Gianforte over Democrat Rob Quist in the race to fill the state’s open seat in congress.

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