It’s fairly common to see Democrats cross over to vote in Republican primaries during mid-term elections in Montana, which are usually more boring than during presidential election years. Crossing over to the Republican ballot may be tempting for Democrats who might want to help more liberal Republican candidates get elected, but this year in Montana, the General Election stakes are high enough that it would behoove Democrats to stay in their lane.
As the Helena Independent Record points out, the Democratic primary for governor is anything but a clean-sweep for front-runner Hollywood socialite, Whitney Williams. Her opponent, Lt. Gov. Mike Cooney, stands a fair shot at taking the primary victory. His credentials in public service, compared to Williams – who is best known for her long list of Los Angeles celebrities – are not to be discounted and he is not to be trifled with.
Knowing his experience is a major advantage, Cooney told a reporter, “I know how government works. I have the experience and the proven leadership ability and relationships already. I can roll up my sleeves and we can hit the ground running and make sure that we’re doing the things Montanans expect to get accomplished.”
That’s something that Williams just can’t say for herself. While a success at being a Hollywood wallflower, she has yet to prove herself capable of running any governmental office, let alone the governorship in Montana.
However, the candidate known as ‘Hollywood Whitney’ Williams probably stands a better shot at defeating a Republican challenger than Cooney, or so goes the conventional wisdom. Williams can better compete financially against the deep-pocketed Gianforte (should he win the primary) with her own treasury of out-of-state donors who come from the far-left coast.
Whitney Williams has raised $439k in the first quarter of 2020. However, only a quarter of her money comes from Montanans. If considered in overall dollars, Williams is only 25% supported within the Big Sky State. And with that cash, which is sure to flood the state if she wins the primary, she will be able to very competitive against her Republican challenger. And if her opponent is anyone but Gianforte, and it might be, she will be even more competitive.
Meanwhile, even the progressive junk-blog, the Montana Post, admits that it’s a hard choice for Democrats during this primary season.
They write, “In the race for governor, we have an accomplished business leader with diverse experiences all over the world and an experienced political leader who understands Montana as well as anyone.
In the race for the Senate, we’ve got the two-term governor who brought Medicaid Expansion to Montana and who is guiding us through COVID-19 and a thoughtful teacher, rancher, and engineer bringing a new voice to Montana politics.
In the race for the U.S. House, we’ve got a pair of candidates who speak and live Montana progressive values every day.
For Attorney General, we have two accomplished lawyers who have chosen to make public service the focus of their professional lives.
For State Auditor, we have two candidates who understand that the purpose of the office is to protect the people of Montana, not the insurance companies and scammers who want to take advantage of them.”
With these races all having fair competition and with the stakes in the General Election being so high, Democrats would be well-served to forgo the temptation to reak havoc in Republican primaries and instead cast the best, most-informed vote possible in their own. If not, the General Election might be far easier for Montana’s conservatives.