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Defying the Odds

Defying the Odds
New book about the 2016 election.

Sunday, June 16, 2019

Bullock and the Debates

In Defying the Odds, we discuss the early stages of the 2016 campaign, when many candidates were unknowns.  The update  -- recently published --includes a chapter on the 2018 midterms.  We are now in the early stages of the 2020 race.

Gabriel Debenedetti at New York:
Steve Bullock would love for everyone to know that he’s been elected statewide three times as a Democrat in Montana, a state Donald Trump won by 20 points. But getting that message out is going to be a bit more difficult than Bullock planned, since he won’t be on the first Democratic presidential primary debate stage in Miami later this month, barely falling short of the Democratic National Committee’s polling threshold. Bullock, who only got into the race in May after his legislative session ended and he reauthorized Montana’s Medicaid expansion, didn’t make the cut after the party decidednot to count an early Washington Post/ABC poll in its qualifying criteria. Then, on the last day he might have snuck in, he came one respondent shortin a Nevada poll. He’s not happy about it.
Cheyenne Haslett at ABC:
If there's a silver lining for 2020 Democratic candidates who didn't make the cut for the first Democratic debates later this month, Montana Gov. Steve Bullock is certainly looking for it.

As the only candidate elected in a state that also voted for President Donald Trump in the 2016 election, Bullock has argued that the DNC is blocking the one Democrat who can truly connect with Trump voters. He's taking advantage of not making the debate stage to emphasize what's he accomplished working with a Republican legislature in Montana -- and giving his campaign a chance at what his many rivals in the 2020 field wish for: a moment to stand apart from the pack.

Capitalizing on that moment, it took just a day after the DNC's announcement, Bullock's campaign to issue a fundraising call. In a new campaign ad obtained exclusively by ABC News, a man born and raised in Montana sits in the bed of his truck and rails against the DNC's decision not to include the governor on the debate stage.