The 2017 Montana special election results are available below.
Greg Gianforte, the Republican candidate, won the election with 50.2 percent of the vote. He defeated his Democratic challenger, Rob Quist, by approximately six percentage points.
Turnout declined from 74.4 percent in 2016 to 54.2 percent in the May 2017 special election. The latter is still unusually high for a congressional special election in an off-year. This is partially due to Montana’s use of mail-in ballots.
(Editor’s note: just a few weeks later, this turnout figure would be eclipsed in Georgia’s 6th district. In that June 2017 special election, 58 percent of the district turned out to vote.)
Gianforte is expected to be sworn in during the month of June. This is following the expected certification of the election results by the state.
2017 Montana Special Election Results
Though the Democrats did not capture this seat, they recorded a swing of about 4.8 percent. Nevertheless, they only flipped three counties. In the most important county in Montana, Yellowstone, Gianforte won by 19 percent (56 to 37). Losing Yellowstone by such a margin doomed Quist’s campaign.
Quist’s wins were in the following counties alphabetically: Big Horn, Blaine, Deer Lodge, Gallatin, Glacier, Hill, Lewis & Clark, Missoula, Park, Roosevelt, and Silver Bow. Gianforte won the remaining 45 counties in Montana.
Gianforte ran ahead of his gubernatorial race from 2016. As the Republican challenger, he took 46.4 percent in a four-point loss to Governor Steve Bullock. He ran well behind Ryan Zinke, his predecessor, and Donald Trump in 2016. In 2017, he was several points short of both of their marks.
2017 Montana Special Election Results: Other Data Points
Quist carried just 11 of Montana’s 56 counties.
The Libertarian contender, Mark Wicks, claimed 5.7 percent of the final vote tally. His best result was in Liberty County, where he took approximately 16 percent of the vote. This is a small county in the north central part of the state, on the Canadian border.
Gianforte only lost seven precincts in Yellowstone County, the one containing the state’s largest city, Billings.