Diary

The Electoral Map: Idaho, Montana and Wyoming

Today, this writer looks at three Mountain states.

Idaho

There is a Senatorial election this year where GOP incumbent Mike Crapo will take on some dude named Jerry Sturgill.  He’s actually an investment banker who has drank the climate change/livable wage Kool-Aid.  This is no competition in a very red state.  Sturgill may perform well in college areas where voting age students (if they vote) will be lured by the promise of not-to-be-realized lower student debt rhetoric, but other than that, Mike Crapo will win.

As will the two Congressmen- Raul Labrador and Mike Simpson.  Both face political neophyte community organizers/activists.  Of course, that kind of worked out OK for Barack Obama, but we’re talking about Idaho here, not Illinois.

Surprisingly, Idaho has been fairly well polled in the presidential area and everything indicates an easy win for Trump and Idaho’s 4 electoral votes.  This writer is expecting a big victory by about 20 points.

Montana

Montana will have a gubernatorial election besides the lone House seat race.  In that election for Governor, the Democratic incumbent currently enjoys a 61% approval rating.  This guarantees reelection and is very good for a Democratic Governor in a red state.  At the end of this term, which he will win in November, keep an eye on Bullock as he may seek higher office- possibly a Senate run or even higher depending how things work out this year at the top of the ticket.

He faces Greg Gianforte, a wealthy engineer.  He has sold two businesses- one to McAfee and the other to Oracle which amassed his wealth.  He has been criticized because a foundation he runs donated money to a museum dedicated to creationism and for what some portray as his anti-LBGT views.  Gianforte thus far has shown a willingness to use his fortune in this race, but everything points to a Bullock victory.

In the race for their lone House seat, GOP incumbent Ryan Zinke will take on Denise Juneau who is the state’s superintendent of public education.  She is an openly gay Native American and perhaps that helps explain her campaign’s emphasis on Indian concerns and education of course.  The race is somewhat under the radar, but the Washington Post has listed it as one of five races to watch this year and the DCCC lists it as one of 30 targeted races for flipping a seat.

First term Congressmen always are targeted by the opposition party since is almost impossible to unseat a two-term-or-more one.  Zinke won in 2014 with 55.4% of the vote.  The problem in Montana is that although it is a red state, it also has a blue streak.  One expects, however, that Zinke will pull out a victory, but it will not be overwhelming.

As far as the presidential race, polls indicate a comfortable margin of victory for Trump in the 12-15 point margin range.

Wyoming

Wyoming is an extremely red state and there should be no surprise here even with the lone House seat up for grabs as GOP incumbent Cynthia Lummis is retiring.  In the GOP primary, Liz Cheney won with 40.3% of the vote in a crowded primary field despite Rand Paul endorsing one of her opponents, Leland Christensen who finished a distant second.  She will face Ryan Greene, another political neophyte.  Hands down- Liz Cheney will be elected.

Being one of the reddest of red states, Donald Trump will easily carry the state by a yuuuuge margin (at least 20 points).

So… after this entry, our electoral vote count stands at 81-59 in favor of Donald Trump over Hillary Clinton.  There are no changes in the Senate with the GOP maintaining a 54-46 advantage, nor in the House where the GOP enjoys a 249-189 advantage after this entry.

Tomorrow:  The Far, Far West as in Alaska and Hawaii before things start to get a little more interesting.