The Flathead Valley’s Leading Independent Journal of Observation, Analysis, & Opinion. © James R. Conner.


5 June 2012

Election live blog

All times are in 24-hour format, MDT. You can obtain results from the MT SecST's page.


I'm suspending the experiment. Check before noon tomorrow on the home page for a preliminary analysis of the local and statewide returns.


Montana needs a better realtime reporting system, one that provides the returns on a precinct level as well as on district, county, and statewide levels. My attempts to export data to Excel all time out. There is no charity in my heart for the elections officials who can't get electronic reporting right. Savvy high school students could do better.

The SD-3 race is tightening. I still think Tutvedt will win -- his allies laid some heavy hits on Roberts over the weekend -- but it's clear that the mud slung at him by the Montana Family Foundation and other tea-soaked outsiders did some damage. Roberts, incidentally, spent the entire day at a honk-n-wave for himself at the entrance to the fairgrounds. Where was Tutvedt? Perhaps on a tractor, plowing himself under.


Diane Smith and Franke Wilmer are each at 24 percent in Flathead County, with Kim Gillan 10 points behind. Statewide, Gillan is still leading and above 30 percent. Sam Rankin is doing better than I expected. Rick Hill is at 32 percent, 10 points better than the competition. In the Democratic primary for attorney general, Pam Bucy continues to lead Jesse Laslovich, but not by much.


Scott Walker's whopping win in Wisconsin proves the Marquette University's last poll was pretty close to the bullseye, the Democratic Party's attempt to discredit the poll notwithstanding (Democratic leaders feared the poll would dispirit Democrats, so they had no fear of bashing science for crass political reasons). I'm not surprised at the outcome. It was a rerun of 2010. Democratic signatures generated the recall election, but voters who put their mark next to Scott Walker's name two years ago were not willing to admit having made a mistake. Something is the matter with Wisconsin, but as yet we don't know enough to find and apply a remedy.


Rick Hill has 35 percent of the vote in the GOP gubernatorial primary. He's 15 points ahead of Corey Stapleton. I'm not yet ready to bet the farm on Hill, but I might wager a couple of pigs.

Bucy v. Laslovich will be close. In the Democratic race for U.S. House, Kim Gillan is around 31 percent, a 10 percent lead. Hardly a mandate.


The MT SecST's website is overloaded. All pages load slowly, and the export to Excel function is timing out.


Absentee results for Flathead County are in. Ed Lieser is leading Tom Muri for the Democratic nomination for HD-4, and is well ahead. In SD-3, Bruce Tutvedt is leading Rollan Roberts II by a healthy margin, but it's a three-man race with Jayson Peters receiving more votes than he should given he announced he was withdrawing. In the county commissioner GOP primaries, Cal Scott has a comfortable lead in District 1 (north Flathead), while Gary Krueger and Jay Scott are ahead of the pack but running neck and neck. I think Scott, a man of the Bob Watne genre whom Watne endorsed, could win.