Government & Politics

Montana State University

Incumbency, name recognition, and likability appear to be factors in the outcome of yesterday’s general election, says Montana State University political scientist David Parker.

Donald Trump’s strong numbers in Montana did not translate into automatic votes for Republican gubernatorial candidate Greg Gianforte. Unofficial returns from The Associated Press show Bullock won re-election by a 50-to-47% margin even as Trump beat Hillary Clinton in Montana by a 57-to-35% margin.

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Congressman Ryan Zinke, State Attorney General Tim Fox, and Secretary of State candidate Corey Stapleton were declared winners from yesterday’s balloting.The A-P declared incumbent Steve Bullock the winner at 8:25 a.m. but other statewide races were still too close to call. Bullock defeated Greg Gianforte, his Republican opponent, by a 50-47% margin.

Around 11 p.m. last night, incumbent Democrat Steve Bullock took the stage at the Great Northern Hotel in Helena to thank his supporters and said it was time to call it a night and tuck his kids into bed.

(Courtesy of Jackie Yamanaka, Yellowstone Public Radio)

Democrat challenger Denise Juneau is trailing Republican Incumbent Ryan Zinke 43% to 53% as election results continue to roll in. Montana Public Radio's Nicky Ouellet brings us this update.


(Courtesy of Jackie Yamanaka, Yellowstone Public Radio)

The Democratic party’s statewide candidates are filtering into the Helena election watch rally as the polls close. Corin Cates-Carney of Montana Public Radio is on site and reports.


(AP Photo/Matt Volz)

Candidates for Montana’s lone House seat are both in western Montana tonight waiting for the polls to close. Montana Public Radio’s Nicky Ouellet reports.


Incumbent Democrat Steve Bullock and Republican challenger Greg Gianforte are hosting watch parties tonight in their home towns, waiting to see who Montana voters will select as the next governor. Corin Cates-Carney brings us this special election reports


It’s NOT your imagination.  There are a lot of political ads airing right now on television. 

A national study released today by the Wesleyan Media Project found Montana ranked near the top in the volume of ads bought and airedin the gubernatorial and U.S. House contests.

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Lies. 

That’s how political candidates often describe their opponent’s advertisements that are saturating television, mailboxes, and social media.

What does the laws says about truth in political ads?

Not much, says Commissioner of Political Practices Jonathan Motl, because the content is protected by the Constitution’s free speech provisions.

“That is where the argument that you are interfering with the First Amendment speech right is strongest,” he says.  

Motl says the courts have struck down laws that have attempted to deal with political content.

Jackie Yamanaka

For all of the procrastinators who have an absentee ballot is still sitting on your kitchen counter, elections officials are urging you to drop it in the mail.

The general election is coming up fast, November 8, 2016.

Yellowstone County Elections Administrator Bret Rutherford says the reduction in the number of U.S. Postal Service sorting centers means it can take longer for mail to be delivered, especially for rural Montanans.

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