August 21, 2004


Democrats in Red States: Just Regular Guys (TIMOTHY EGAN, 8/22/04, NY Times)

Sitting among the prized huckleberry jams and manicured hogs of the Western Montana State Fair, the lone representative of the Democratic Party tried to blend in.

With his jeans and rawhide face, Geoff Badenoch certainly looked the part. And as a native of Glendive, in the wind-seared ranching country of eastern Montana, he talked the part.

But there was the matter of that scarlet D attached to his booth. It made him stick out like someone eating corn on the cob with a fork.

As one of the poorest states in the country with a long tradition of scrappy unionism, Montana seems like it could be a Democratic stronghold. But it's not. Despite a populist roar, former Vice President Al Gore lost this state by nearly two to one in the last presidential election, and Republicans expect President Bush to win big again this year.

A big reason is the three G's in the Republican culture-wars deck - gays, guns and God - the issues that resonate in the heartland and overshadow economic issues that Democrats say should move poor and lower-middle-class voters here into their camp.

If the Left's analysis were right and most Americans valued the material over the spiritual things would be different. Brilliant.

Posted by Orrin Judd at August 21, 2004 3:26 PM

Montana Democratic Party slogan: "Only slightly less lonely than the Maytag repairman."

Posted by: Rick T. at August 21, 2004 6:27 PM

Kerry was recently campaigning in Idaho and other rocky mountain states. Polls show Bush +30-40pts in Idaho so gotta think that was a waste of Kerry's time.

Posted by: AWW at August 21, 2004 8:00 PM


Perhaps Kerry was just day-tripping from Heinz West (the one with the English barn).

Posted by: jim hamlen at August 22, 2004 12:34 AM