Health care is key issue as Montana fills US House seat

Posted May 25, 2017

While Quist avoids mention of Trump - he said nothing the day news broke of the president's alleged effort to stymie an Federal Bureau of Investigation probe into Russian meddling in the 2016 election - he has made the House Republican health care bill a centerpiece of his campaign. On Thursday Mr. Quist's campaign said he had raised $5 million, including more than 200,000 contributions averaging just under $24.

Republicans are still favored to hang onto the seat, but it's become an expensive affair.

The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee has spent about half a million dollars in Montana, funneling early money through the state party so that Quist could go up on TV, and later bolstering that with additional TV and mail efforts.

Democrats are hoping for a win in Montana as they need to win 24 seats to get back control of the House in 2018.

"The Montana special election won't be a referendum on Trump".

But this race is closer than it should be.

Trump won the state by a healthy 56%-35% and his approval rating is still above water in internal polls from both parties.

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Democratic U.S. Congressional candidate Rob Quist looks on during a gathering with supporters in Great Falls, Montana on Monday.

Even if Montana officials could do something about robo-calls, the caller could conceivably claim that the state's ban is violating his or her free speech on campaigns. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.). Revelations that Gianforte said he was "thankful" for the bill on a private conference call proved a fundraising boon for Quist. "Quist has been talking a whole lot about that and I suspect that's pretty unpopular in Montana".

"Republicans should be anxious that they've had to dump so many dollars in to try to defend a district that they shouldn't have had to spend a penny in", Lujan said.

Neither party is enamored with their candidate, but say the other side's may be worse.

Last week, in an interview with MTN News, Gianforte said he would have voted against the bill, because he's not convinced it would fulfill three goals he requires for any ACA repeal: It must protect people with pre-existing health conditions, preserve rural access to health care and bring down health-care premiums.

Republicans: Did we have to do too much to win? . In April, Ron Estes won a close race over James Thompson, a civil rights lawyer, in a House race in Kansas.

Republican strategists say they're anxious that the race has tightened, while national Democrats say their polling shows the race has remained out of reach. "The story of this race doesn't have anything to do with Trump..."

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He also told MTN News last week that it would "kick off" the 70,000 Montanans covered by expanded Medicaid.

But Democrats aren't over the moon with Quist. Automatic robocalls are illegal in Montana, but the RNC uses a live caller who requests consent to play the calls to comply with state law. As I said at the beginning, to whom much is given, much is expected. "The outsider candidate is a nice idea until you realize they have no idea what they're doing ..."

Republicans, led by CLF, have hammered Quist for his personal financial troubles, trying to paint a picture of an irresponsible big-spender.

Rob Quist, left, and Sen. "I'm voting for Greg".

Yellowstone County GOP presented Gianforte with a $900 campaign check.

That spending has been more than enough to put the Montana race in the national spotlight.

At the front of the line, Gary McGowan said that the candidates' views on health care were the most important factor in his decision to vote for Quist.

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"Hopefully we're going to win", Sen.