Here Are the Results of the Contentious Congressional Election in Montana: Gianforte Wins

May 25th 2017

Thor Benson

After an eventful 24 hours, the results for the special election to fill Montana's at-large House seat are in, and Republican Greg Gianforte has won.

The election has been quite contentious. Democrat Rob Quist has been portrayed as a Bernie Sanders-style progressive. Sanders announced his support for Quist back in April and campaigned for Quist this month. On the other side, Republican Greg Gianforte has received support and visits from Donald Trump's son and Vice President Mike Pence. 


The already heated election became a national news story on Wednesday when Ben Jacobs, a reporter for the Guardian claimed he was "body slammed" by Greg Gianforte while asking the candidate questions about the GOP health-care bill. The assault was caught on audio recording, and multiple eye witnesses have since backed up the story. (The campaign, however, released this statement, which Vox dissected.) Gianforte has been charged with misdemeanor assault over the incident. Subsequently, Montana's three main newspapers revoked their endorsements of Gianforte, and House Speaker Paul Ryan asked him to apologize.

Beyond the assault of a reporter, this election has received so much attention because it was seen as a bellwether for the nation. It was thought if Republicans won, that meant Trump's unpopularity isn't poisoning the party's chances of picking up seats in Congress. If a Democratic candidate won, that would show the party has a good chance of picking up congressional seats in the 2018 election. This is also the first special election since both the passage of the GOP's health-care bill, the ACHA, in the House and the firing of former FBI Director James Comey. (CNN has a great breakdown of what to look for in this race.)

Gianforte's win shows that Republicans are still competitive in congressional races. 




Gianforte may have achieved an electoral victory, but he will surely have a lot of questions to answer in the near future.