Native Vote Could Determine Outcome of Senate Race in Montana
On July 5 and again on September 6, 2018, Donald Trump flew to Montana, a state he won by 20 points in 2016, to hold a rally for Matt Rosendale, the Republican challenger to two-term Democrat incumbent Senator Jon Tester. Tester is one of 10 Democrat senators running in states where Trump won.
The Montana Senate race is one of the most watched campaigns in the nation. Trump, the Republican Party, and outside conservative groups see the seat as “up for grabs,” and recent polls show that the race is close. The Real Clear Politics average has Tester leading by up to 5.5 percent while a new internal poll conducted for the National Republican Senatorial Committee shows Rosendale leading Tester by two points.
Who comes out on top will by and large be determined by how many Native people in Montana turn out to vote, said Michaelynn Hawk, a member of the Crow Tribe of Montana and the executive director of Indian People’s Action, an organization that works on social justice and Native voter registration and turnout.
“Natives put people into office,” Hawk told Truthout.