Democrats see hope for 2018 in thin GOP victory in Montana

AP News
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Posted: May 27, 2017 2:41 AM
Democrats see hope for 2018 in thin GOP victory in Montana

WASHINGTON (AP) — Republicans and Democrats alike are finding something to be happy about in the special election for Montana's only seat in the House.

The Republican candidate, businessman Greg Gianforte, defeated his Democratic challenger, musician Rob Quist, with 50 percent to 44 percent of the vote in unofficial results. That's underperforming for a Republican in a state Democrat Hillary Clinton lost by 20 percentage points.

Democrats hope lukewarm support for the Republican candidate will bode well for similar races in next year's midterm elections. If Democrats show strength in Republican-friendly districts, the GOP will have to spend millions defending them.

But Republicans says the Montana victory shows success in their strategy to focus on the Democratic candidate — and the possibility that congresswoman Nancy Pelosi could return as House speaker.