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2012 United States House of Representatives election in Montana

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

2012 United States House of Representatives election in Montana

← 2010 November 6, 2012 2014 →
Steve Daines 113th Congress.jpg
Kim Gillan 2012 (cropped).jpg
Nominee Steve Daines Kim Gillan
Party Republican Democratic
Popular vote 255,468 204,939
Percentage 53.3% 42.7%

U.S. Representative before election

Denny Rehberg

Elected U.S. Representative

Steve Daines

Montana's at-large congressional district
Montana's at-large congressional district

The 2012 congressional election in Montana was held on November 6, 2012, to determine who would represent the state of Montana in the United States House of Representatives. Montana has one seat in the House, apportioned according to the 2010 United States Census. Incumbent Denny Rehberg did not run for reelection, choosing instead to run for the seat in the U.S. Senate.[1] A primary election was held on June 5, 2012.[2] Republican businessman Steve Daines won the open seat.

YouTube Encyclopedic

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  • ✪ Do You Understand the Electoral College?


I want to talk you about the Electoral College and why it matters. Alright, I know this doesn't sound the like most sensational topic of the day, but, stay with me because, I promise you, it's one of the most important. To explain why requires a very brief civics review. The President and Vice President of the United States are not chosen by a nationwide, popular vote of the American people; rather, they are chosen by 538 electors. This process is spelled out in the United States Constitution. Why didn't the Founders just make it easy, and let the Presidential candidate with the most votes claim victory? Why did they create, and why do we continue to need, this Electoral College? The answer is critical to understanding not only the Electoral College, but also America. The Founders had no intention of creating a pure majority-rule democracy. They knew from careful study of history what most have forgotten today, or never learned: pure democracies do not work. They implode. Democracy has been colorfully described as two wolves and a lamb voting on what's for dinner. In a pure democracy, bare majorities can easily tyrannize the rest of a country. The Founders wanted to avoid this at all costs. This is why we have three branches of government -- Executive, Legislative and Judicial. It's why each state has two Senators no matter what its population, but also different numbers of Representatives based entirely on population. It's why it takes a supermajority in Congress and three-quarters of the states to change the Constitution. And, it's why we have the Electoral College. Here's how the Electoral College works. The Presidential election happens in two phases. The first phase is purely democratic. We hold 51 popular elections every presidential election year: one in each state and one in D.C. On Election Day in 2012, you may have thought you were voting for Barack Obama or Mitt Romney, but you were really voting for a slate of presidential electors. In Rhode Island, for example, if you voted for Barack Obama, you voted for the state's four Democratic electors; if you voted for Mitt Romney you were really voting for the state's four Republican electors. Part Two of the election is held in December. And it is this December election among the states' 538 electors, not the November election, which officially determines the identity of the next President. At least 270 votes are needed to win. Why is this so important? Because the system encourages coalition-building and national campaigning. In order to win, a candidate must have the support of many different types of voters, from various parts of the country. Winning only the South or the Midwest is not good enough. You cannot win 270 electoral votes if only one part of the country is supporting you. But if winning were only about getting the most votes, a candidate might concentrate all of his efforts in the biggest cities or the biggest states. Why would that candidate care about what people in West Virginia or Iowa or Montana think? But, you might ask, isn't the election really only about the so-called swing states? Actually, no. If nothing else, safe and swing states are constantly changing. California voted safely Republican as recently as 1988. Texas used to vote Democrat. Neither New Hampshire nor Virginia used to be swing states. Most people think that George W. Bush won the 2000 election because of Florida. Well, sort of. But he really won the election because he managed to flip one state which the Democrats thought was safe: West Virginia. Its 4 electoral votes turned out to be decisive. No political party can ignore any state for too long without suffering the consequences. Every state, and therefore every voter in every state, is important. The Electoral College also makes it harder to steal elections. Votes must be stolen in the right state in order to change the outcome of the Electoral College. With so many swing states, this is hard to predict and hard to do. But without the Electoral College, any vote stolen in any precinct in the country could affect the national outcome -- even if that vote was easily stolen in the bluest California precinct or the reddest Texas one. The Electoral College is an ingenious method of selecting a President for a great, diverse republic such as our own -- it protects against the tyranny of the majority, encourages coalition building and discourages voter fraud. Our Founders were proud of it! We can be too. I'm Tara Ross for Prager University.


Republican primary



Hypothetical polling

Poll source Date(s)
Margin of
Other Undecided
Public Policy Polling June 16–19, 2011 382 ± 5.0% 14% 22% 64%


Republican primary results[7]
Party Candidate Votes %
Republican Steve Daines 82,843 71.2
Republican Eric Brosten 21,012 18.1
Republican Vincent Melkus 12,420 10.7
Total votes 116,275 100.0

Democratic primary


Declined to run


Poll source Date(s)
Margin of
Public Policy Polling April 26–29, 2012 332 ± 5.4% 21% 4% 13% 9% 1% 0% 11% 41%


Democratic primary results[7]
Party Candidate Votes %
Democratic Kim Gillan 25,077 31.0
Democratic Franke Wilmer 14,836 18.4
Democratic Diane Smith 12,618 15.6
Democratic Dave Strohmaier 11,366 14.1
Democratic Sam Rankin 9,382 11.6
Democratic Jason Ward 4,959 6.1
Democratic Rob Stutz 2,586 3.2
Total votes 80,824 100.0

General election


  • Steve Daines (R), businessman
  • Kim Gillan (D), state Senator
  • David Kaiser (Libertarian)[18]

General election


Poll source Date(s)
Margin of
Daines (R)
Gillan (D)
Other Undecided
Mason-Dixon September 17–19, 2012 625 ± 4.0% 46% 38% 2% 14%
Public Policy Polling September 10–11, 2012 656 ± 3.8% 40% 37% 9% 15%
Public Policy Polling April 26–29, 2012 934 ± 3.2% 33% 27% 40%
Public Policy Polling June 16–19, 2011 819 ± 3.4% 35% 27% 38%


Montana's at-large congressional district, 2012[19]
Party Candidate Votes % ±
Republican Steve Daines 255,468 53.25% -7.16%
Democratic Kim Gillan 204,939 42.72% +8.88%
Libertarian David Kaiser 19,333 4.03% -1.71%
Total votes 479,740 100.0% N/A
Republican hold


  1. ^ Johnson, Charles S. (February 5, 2011). "It's official: Rehberg says he's taking on Tester". Billings Gazette. Retrieved February 5, 2011.
  2. ^ "Montana 2012 Primary and General Election Calendar" (PDF). Secretary of State Linda McCulloch. Archived from the original (PDF) on August 10, 2011. Retrieved August 16, 2011.
  3. ^ Johnson, Charles S. (February 2, 2012). "Star Wars is top issue for GOP House candidate". Billings Gazette. Retrieved February 7, 2012.
  4. ^ Slate, Judy (February 3, 2011). "Bozeman's Steve Daines comments on switching from Senate to House race". Archived from the original on July 13, 2011. Retrieved June 1, 2011.
  5. ^ Johnson, Charles S. (March 6, 2012). "Ex-Marine from Hardin files for Montana's U.S. House seat". Missoulian. Retrieved March 11, 2012.
  6. ^ "Republican Mont. candidate for Congress with KKK ties drops out due to lack of support". The Washington Post. October 5, 2011. Retrieved October 15, 2011.
  7. ^ a b
  8. ^ Banks, Marnee (June 21, 2011). "Kim Gillan enters Democratic race for US House". Retrieved June 21, 2011.
  9. ^ "Billings real estate agent Rankin joins U.S. House race as Demo". Independent Record. March 9, 2012. Retrieved March 11, 2012.
  10. ^ Dennison, Mike (November 3, 2011). "Whitefish businesswoman becomes 5th Democrat in U.S. House race". Billings Gazette. Retrieved November 11, 2011.
  11. ^ Weller, Allyson (June 18, 2011). "Strohmaier announces run for Congress". KPAX. Archived from the original on June 23, 2011. Retrieved June 20, 2011.
  12. ^ Banks, Marnee (August 10, 2011). "Helena attorney Rob Stutz announces run for US House". KRTV. Archived from the original on September 29, 2011. Retrieved August 16, 2011.
  13. ^ Johnson, Charles S. (January 20, 2012). "Crow tribal member files as Democrat for U.S. House seat". Missoulian. Retrieved January 25, 2012.
  14. ^ Banks, Marnee (February 1, 2011). "Wilmer of Bozeman announces U.S. House bid". Archived from the original on July 13, 2011. Retrieved June 1, 2011.
  15. ^ "Gopher not running for Congress; she sets eye on Senate in 2014". Independent Record. March 14, 2012. Retrieved March 15, 2012.
  16. ^ Drucker, David M. (June 9, 2011). "Could Schweitzer Challenge Baucus in 2014?". Roll Call. Retrieved June 10, 2011.
  17. ^ Johnson, Charles S. (July 28, 2011). "Schweitzer says his future isn't in Congress". Billings Gazette. Retrieved August 2, 2011.
  18. ^ Dennison, Mike (March 13, 2012). "Filing deadline: Busy day precedes busy election season". Independent Record. Retrieved March 15, 2012.
  19. ^ "2012 General Canvass" (PDF). Retrieved 2019-02-23.

External links

Campaign websites
This page was last edited on 18 September 2019, at 14:48
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