All Politics are Local: Montana Edition


“All politics are local.” In this day and age, with all of the communications tools we have, it is easy to forget that politics are local. In the age of Trump, every election leading up to the midterms seems like a big deal and national audiences are paying attention to the special elections that are happening nearly every week.

While media and social media can bring a lot of national attention to local races, the Democratic candidates who are faring especially well these days are the ones that focus their message on the local issues that their constituents–their voters–care about.

There are many examples I could give, but here’s a recent one that was brought to my attention from Daily Kos’ Election blog. (A blog I highly recommend.) In addition to making my point, this made me chuckle a bit.

From Daily Kos Elections on 3/12/18:

MT-Sen: Democratic Sen. Jon Tester is out with his first re-election ad, and he put $53,000 behind it. The spot starts off with Tester speaking to the camera to bemoan how Washington’s a mess, but he argues that isn’t stopping him from getting Trump to sign 13 bills into law to help Montana. Tester starts to rattle off the new laws by counting the first one on his finger, after which veterans, a law enforcement officer, retirees, and a firefighter each hold up their fingers to count the subsequent laws that are supposedly designed to help their respective groups. Tester, who lost three of his fingers in meat-grinder accident when he was a child working on his family’s farm, holds up all his fingers when he gets to number eight and says, “I’m out of fingers! But I’m not finished getting things done for Montana,” which is a clever way make lemonade out of lemons and emphasize his working-class upbringing.

See Jon Tester’s spot here:
Nationally, there are likely to be people who want Jon Tester to move farther left. But he has continued to win elections in red, red Montana since 2006. He is someone who knows how to get elected as a Democrat in Montana because he knows Montanans. He’s someone who understands that politics are local.

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