On Thursday, Montana went out to vote for their only Congressional seat in a tight race between a progressive, Rob Quist, and the GOP contender, Greg Gianforte. This election was to replace former Rep. Ryan Zinke who was appointed by Donald Trump to be the interior secretary. The results were disappointing with Quist losing by about 6 points, but reflecting on the loss I came to realize the tremendous ground Democrats gained in Montana since the election. Donald Trump won the state by around 20 points, so this is a massive 14 point swing to the left and anti-Trump America.
The day before the election Gianforte allegedly body-slammed a reporter and broke his glasses. Despite this act of violence, he was elected, but this is most likely because 65-70% of Montana voters cast their ballots early. These absentee voters allowed Gianforte to maintain a large enough lead going into election day to hold off the surging Rob Quist.
After this loss for Democrats, there still is hope to begin turning red seats blue in 2017. Over in Georgia’s 6th district, Jon Ossoff is currently leading his Republican opponent, Karen Handel, in the latest polls (51%-44% with 6% undecided). Moreover, just a week or so ago, Ossoff received his millionth campaign contribution in this congressional race that has turned out to be by far the most expensive House race ever.
One particular house seat that is up for grabs in 2018 is one held by one of the biggest names of the Democratic party, Nancy Pelosi. Because of her disdain for Bernie Sanders’ politics, progressives are primarying her. This means that another Democratic candidate will attempt to steal her seat. This progressive is Stephen Jaffe. Pelosi still has an extremely weak record in supporting pro-Sanders’ policies like a Medicare-For-All single payer program for health care among many other plans. Hopefully, either Jaffe is successful by defeating Pelosi and sparks a nationwide progressive movement or Pelosi changes her beliefs.
Finally, every week we see more and more progressives either winning at the local level or signing up to run, and I am positive we will soon see major victories at the national level.