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United States Elections

2020 Montana House Race: Predictions and More

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2020 Montana House Race

What’s the good word when it comes to the 2020 Montana House race, and who do we expect to win?

This may be the last Congressional election for a long time in which we get to talk about Montana’s at-large district. Though nobody knows for sure now, there is a growing consensus that this very large state is going to gain a congressional district after the 2020 Census. For the time being, however, Montana elects just one member to the US House of Representatives, and this will be a race to watch.

Republicans have held the Montana at-large seat since the 1996 election, but the GOP has had a few close calls in that time. We may think of Montana as a red state, which in a lot of ways it is, but in some ways it isn’t, either. There hasn’t been a Republican governor since 2005, Democrats hold one of the two Senate seats and are making a play for the other one this year, and while the GOP has majorities in both legislature houses, they’re not especially large majorities. Democrats can and do win statewide elections there, and this is of course a statewide election.

So, what’s in store this time? The incumbent representative is Greg Gianforte, who was elected in a 2017 special after Ryan Zinke quit to join the Trump administration. Both of Gianforte’s runs have been competitive elections. Now, he is chasing the governorship again, so Montana will have an open seat House election for the fourth time since 2012. And you thought your district was a revolving door of congressmen.

Who will Montanans choose to represent them in the US House of Representatives this time? Below, we make our prediction.

MT US House Rating Scale

The 2020 Montana House race is rated on the below scale, and you may notice there is no “tossup” option. We don’t do those.

Election Rating Chart MT

2020 Montana House Race Current Prediction Summary: May 9

2020 Montana House Races - 5-9-20 predictions

Montana-At Large

Montana-AL US House

Republican Hold - Weak Lean MT-AL

Once again, Montana has a House race with no incumbent. Consider the following: (1) Donald Trump is quite likely to carry the state, (2) the state is more Republican in nature than not, (3) the most likely Republican nominee will be a statewide-elected official. Please note, however, that both Auditor Matt Rosendale and Secretary of State Corey Stapleton lost a GOP primary for this seat to Ryan Zinke back in 2014. Rosendale then went on to lose a close race to Jon Tester in the latter’s 2018 Senate re-election run.

Democrats may be nominating a candidate who lost here in 2018 to Gianforte, so it’s looking good at least that one of these candidates who previously failed in their run for this seat will win it this time. Who will that be? At this point, we expect the Republican nominee to win. Democrats have a chance in the Senate race with a star candidate, Gov. Steve Bullock, but that didn’t happen in this race.

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