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Democrat challenger holds slight lead in crucial Montana race for Senate (our last great hope)
Canada,com ^ | 11/8/06 | Matt Gouras

Posted on 11/08/2006 7:37:28 AM PST by pissant

HELENA, Mont. (AP) - Senator Conrad Burns and Democrat Jon Tester were locked in a tight contest early Wednesday as the Republican struggled to return to Washington for a fourth term.

Tester had a slight lead of less than 1,600 votes in one of two Senate races still undecided in Tuesday's midterm elections. The other was in Virginia. the Democrats must win both if they are to wrest control of the Senate from the Republicans.

With 99 per cent of precincts reported early Wednesday, Tester had 190,486 votes, or 48.9 per cent, and Burns had 188,900 votes, or 48.5 per cent.

A candidate in Montana can request a recount at his own expense if the margin is within half of a per cent, which would be roughly 2,000 votes. If the margin is less than one-quarter of a per cent, the state and counties pick up the tab.

Burns, 71, first elected in 1988 as a folksy, backslapping outsider, was under siege because of his ties to disgraced lobbyist Jack Abramoff and because of his own gaffes - including an incident in which he cursed at firefighters.

Tester, the state senate president and a farmer, hammered Burns for his ties to Abramoff and what Tester called the "culture of corruption" in Washington. Burns was a top recipient of campaign contributions from Abramoff, who pleaded guilty in January to corruption. He has since returned or donated about US$150,000, and has maintained he did nothing wrong and was never influenced by Abramoff.

Tester resisted help from the national party, saying he wanted to run his campaign his way, out of Montana. He brought in few national party figures, instead relying on rallies with popular Gov. Brian Schweitzer and Senator Max Baucus.

Burns, meanwhile, was joined on the trail over the past few weeks by Republican luminaries, including President George W. Bush and Vice-President Dick Cheney.

Tester, 50, surprised many in the state when he beat a better-financed and better-known Democrat in the June primary.

This time around, it was Tester who portrayed himself as the Washington outsider - a western moderate Democrat who owns guns, opposes gay marriage and has a libertarian's suspicion of the anti-terrorism Patriot Act.

"It really is proof positive that Montanans are ready for a change," told CBS' "The Early Show" Wednesday while the race was still too narrow to call. "We need to take some Montana values back to Washington."

Tester stood out, with his scuffed cowboy boots and flat-top haircut. One of his hands lacks three fingers, lost long ago in an accident with a meat grinder.

Burns focused his campaign on his ability as a veteran senator to bring federal money to the state, and portrayed Tester as a liberal who wants to raise taxes and "cut and run" from Iraq.

Burns took heat after confronting members of a wildfire-fighting team at the Billings airport in late July and saying they had done a poor job, according to a state report and the U.S. Forest Service. The Hotshot crew had travelled from Virginia to help dig lines around a fire east of Billings.


TOPICS: Crime/Corruption; Politics/Elections; US: Montana
KEYWORDS: liberalssuck
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Can the old dinosaur pull it out??
1 posted on 11/08/2006 7:37:34 AM PST by pissant
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To: pissant

Unlikely.


2 posted on 11/08/2006 7:38:17 AM PST by HitmanLV ("If at first you don't succeed, keep on sucking until you do succeed." - Jerry 'Curly' Howard)
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To: HitmanLV

How many absentees still need to be tallied?


3 posted on 11/08/2006 7:39:41 AM PST by pissant
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To: pissant

This is closer than I had realized. 1600 is a lot of votes in MT, though.


4 posted on 11/08/2006 7:40:07 AM PST by rightinthemiddle (Without the Media, the Left and Islamofacists are Nothing.)
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To: pissant

I think it depends on the absentee ballots. Are these military people? Maybe Burns can make up ground.


5 posted on 11/08/2006 7:40:21 AM PST by Asceticon
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To: pissant

"Can the old dinosaur pull it out??"

I don't think so.


6 posted on 11/08/2006 7:40:35 AM PST by MineralMan (Non-evangelical atheist)
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To: Asceticon
I hate to say it, but I think we lost the senate. I hope I am wrong. I would love to hold on to at least one of the two seats to keep control of the Senate, but the odds are not in our favor with the data that is out there right now.
7 posted on 11/08/2006 7:41:55 AM PST by Hendrix
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To: pissant

21,000


8 posted on 11/08/2006 7:42:42 AM PST by apackof2 (They don't care how much you know until they know how much you care)
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To: apackof2

How do you know that?


9 posted on 11/08/2006 7:43:41 AM PST by kara37
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To: pissant

21k absentee ballots if info from other FR threads is correct.


10 posted on 11/08/2006 7:43:51 AM PST by The_Victor (If all I want is a warm feeling, I should just wet my pants.)
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To: pissant
I'm pissed at BUSH.

He LETS the main stream media totally distort his message and says NOTHING about achievements in Iraq or anywhere else. It was a clean sweep for Demoncrats. They're about there telling all kinds of lies and distortions and the sheeple believe it because they hear NOTHING ELSE from BUSH.

Bush can call a news conference any time he wants. Bush can rip those lies and distortions apart any time he wants. He didn't. He thought he was too good for that. He thought he could just ignore them and thumb his nose at them while toting the book, Liberal Bias under his arm. It didn't work. You have to FIGHT BACK. NOW, we get to literally suffer the consequences.
11 posted on 11/08/2006 7:43:59 AM PST by nmh (Intelligent people recognize Intelligent Design (God) .)
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To: pissant

"How many absentees still need to be tallied?"

about 21,000


12 posted on 11/08/2006 7:44:30 AM PST by Leatherneck_MT (In a world where Carpenters come back from the dead, ALL things are possible.)
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To: pissant; conservative in nyc
Can the old dinosaur pull it out??

Not likely. From conservative in nyc on the election thread:

Yellowstone County supposedly counted the absentee ballots before counting other ballots and is now 100% reporting per CNN. I'm not sure how it worked in other places, but unless Burns' people are correct, he ain't winning.

There also seems to be some turnout discrepancy in certain areas - Gallatin, Lake and Yellowstone Counties have higher turnout than in 2000, yet many other counties do not, and the vote tally statewide lags. Whether this is because they haven't counted absentees or simply because more people voted in those areas is not clear.

I've yo-yoed on this race all day - at one point, it looked impossible for Burns win. Then, the extrapolations were looking good. Now, it looks downright impossible that he'd win unless the absentee votes are actually out and are from Republican-leaning areas. I'm NOT optimistic.


http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/f-news/1734374/posts?page=7673#7673

13 posted on 11/08/2006 7:47:14 AM PST by CedarDave ("O Lord make my enemies ridiculous." ~ Voltaire. "Will John Kerry do?" - Lord (courtesy catpuppy))
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To: Hendrix

"The House passed an Internet gambling ban earlier this summer, but the bill had difficulty moving in the Senate. However it was a priority of Senate Republican Leader Bill Frist of Tennessee, and attaching it to the popular port security bill appeared aimed at insuring its passage."

Thank you, Bill Frist.


14 posted on 11/08/2006 7:48:35 AM PST by i_dont_chat (I have the right to offend. You can take offense or not.)
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To: nmh

I disagree. Bush was excellent on the stump and in his press conferences manhandling the pressitutes recently. Cheney and Rummy too, btw. But Frist? hastert? A slew of GOP candidates hiding from the Iraq war, unsure of how to "distance" themselves from the media created "quagmire". It was ugly.


15 posted on 11/08/2006 7:49:23 AM PST by pissant
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To: nmh

President Bush fights more every day than you will in your entire life.


16 posted on 11/08/2006 7:49:50 AM PST by Coop (FR = a lotta talk, but little action)
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To: pissant

Not enough.


17 posted on 11/08/2006 7:51:44 AM PST by HitmanLV ("If at first you don't succeed, keep on sucking until you do succeed." - Jerry 'Curly' Howard)
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To: i_dont_chat

I don't know how I can put it any clearer.

Bill Frist is a snake-in-the-grass and I say "good riddance."


18 posted on 11/08/2006 7:51:54 AM PST by i_dont_chat (I have the right to offend. You can take offense or not.)
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To: nmh

"He LETS the main stream media totally distort his message and says NOTHING about achievements in Iraq or anywhere else".
You nailed it my friend.


19 posted on 11/08/2006 7:52:04 AM PST by KenmcG414
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To: CedarDave

Well, that sounds less than encouraging. Say hello to Senate Majority Leader Reid. *uhg*


20 posted on 11/08/2006 7:52:38 AM PST by pissant
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To: Coop

You got that right.


21 posted on 11/08/2006 7:53:04 AM PST by RobFromGa (I'm still optimistic about our future!)
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To: pissant

Allen in Virginia was my favorite for 2008... he's likely out now since he lost his own state. =^(


22 posted on 11/08/2006 7:53:38 AM PST by Teacher317
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To: nmh

President Bush had a good run. He preserved the Republican majorities through three elections, and lost it on the fourth. But those last three elections were significant achievements, and should not be forgotten.

But now that is all over. Bush will never be on the ballot again, and the Republicans are going to be running as outsiders in 2008. It is time to adjust our thinking and re-introduce ourselves to the voters as serious-minded, tax-cutting, security-promoting, border-securing, live-affirming Republicans.

The people like that kind of a Republican. They have voted for it time and time again. Why we abandoned that formula in favor of tax-and-spend porkbarrelers in 2006 I will never know.


23 posted on 11/08/2006 7:53:48 AM PST by gridlock (Wrong, wrong. wrong. I was wrong -- Time to work out ways to prevail in the new environment.)
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To: Teacher317

He can always sell shoes, cause his political career is toast.


24 posted on 11/08/2006 7:54:54 AM PST by pissant
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To: gridlock

It is so freaking depressing.


25 posted on 11/08/2006 7:56:06 AM PST by nmh (Intelligent people recognize Intelligent Design (God) .)
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To: Coop
President Bush fights more every day than you will in your entire life.

A little more honey, less vinegar, Coop. ;^)

26 posted on 11/08/2006 7:56:18 AM PST by jla
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To: Teacher317
Senators make for poor presidential candidates. We need a good Republican governor as a canddiate. I would normally say that Jeb Bush would be a good choice but I think his brother has made him radioactive, at least for 2008.
27 posted on 11/08/2006 7:56:50 AM PST by Question_Assumptions
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To: Teacher317; pissant

George Allen would likely have been the next POTUS except for one single, stupid word in a campaign that he would have otherwise won comfortably.


28 posted on 11/08/2006 7:56:55 AM PST by wagglebee ("We are ready for the greatest achievements in the history of freedom." -- President Bush, 1/20/05)
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To: pissant

The margin is about 1600 votes but neither candidate got over 50%, does that mean, by law, a runoff(absolute majority); or recount(simple majority)? If Webb holds on in VA Conrad Burns(who cussed out the firefighters)is our last firewall...


29 posted on 11/08/2006 7:57:26 AM PST by timer
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To: pissant

"old dinosaur pull it out??"
I do not think it will matter. A 50-50 or 51-49 senate would be controlled by the dims anyway. (remember "power sharing" after jeffords jumped?)


30 posted on 11/08/2006 7:57:30 AM PST by dynachrome ("Where am I? Where am I going? Why am I in a handbasket?")
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To: jla
President Bush fights more every day, Honey, than you will in your entire life.

How's that?

31 posted on 11/08/2006 7:58:28 AM PST by Coop (FR = a lotta talk, but little action)
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To: pissant
Well, that sounds less than encouraging. Say hello to Senate Majority Leader Reid. *uhg*

Yeah, for sure. Is it too early for a Guinness? :>)

32 posted on 11/08/2006 8:06:54 AM PST by CedarDave ("O Lord make my enemies ridiculous." ~ Voltaire. "Will John Kerry do?" - Lord (courtesy catpuppy))
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To: nmh

Perhaps the strategy was to let the dems take the house, and split the Senate, so that after two years the people will be calling for anyone but Democrats to lead?


33 posted on 11/08/2006 8:08:03 AM PST by proudpapa (of three.)
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To: wagglebee

I dunno. They would have found something else. I think he maybe should have labelled Webb a pedophile, or something.


34 posted on 11/08/2006 8:10:06 AM PST by HeadOn (Pro Deo, Pro Familia, Pro Patria)
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To: apackof2

21,000 absentee ballots left to count?

I calculate that if Burns get 53.8% of those, he leads.
If he get 58.6% of those he gets a recount-proof win.


35 posted on 11/08/2006 8:18:32 AM PST by kidd
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To: proudpapa
Perhaps the strategy was to let the dems take the house, and split the Senate, so that after two years the people will be calling for anyone but Democrats to lead?

...Cue the "Rove, you magnificent bastard" image....

36 posted on 11/08/2006 8:20:24 AM PST by wbill
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To: proudpapa
I don't know ... what I do know is that ANYTHING lead by Demoncrats sets us back and endangers our country - literally from ANY perspective.
37 posted on 11/08/2006 8:27:29 AM PST by nmh (Intelligent people recognize Intelligent Design (God) .)
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To: pissant

If he's willing to look at all the fraudulent votes ... expose the DemoncRATs machine.


38 posted on 11/08/2006 8:27:58 AM PST by Steven W.
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To: KenmcG414

IT really PISSES ME OFF!

There is NO REASON for DEMONCRATS to have such a clean sweep.


39 posted on 11/08/2006 8:28:40 AM PST by nmh (Intelligent people recognize Intelligent Design (God) .)
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To: KenmcG414
Sometimes I wonder ... there are days when I firmly believe REPBLICANS couldn't sell ICE to a thirsty person wandering around in the desert. HONESLTY! They are so STUPID when it comes to MARKETING THEIR IDEOLOGY and SHOWING people HOW IT WORKS.
40 posted on 11/08/2006 8:30:13 AM PST by nmh (Intelligent people recognize Intelligent Design (God) .)
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To: pissant
"I disagree. Bush was excellent on the stump and in his press conferences manhandling the pressitutes recently. Cheney and Rummy too, btw. But Frist? hastert? A slew of GOP candidates hiding from the Iraq war, unsure of how to "distance" themselves from the media created "quagmire". It was ugly."

Disagree all you like but the FACT remains that this was a CLEAN SWEEP for the DEMONCRATS.

YOU EXPLAIN THIS.
41 posted on 11/08/2006 8:31:36 AM PST by nmh (Intelligent people recognize Intelligent Design (God) .)
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To: i_dont_chat

I'm not a Frist fan, but I don't think we can blame this on him.


42 posted on 11/08/2006 8:32:11 AM PST by twigs
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To: nmh
He LETS the main stream media totally distort his message and says NOTHING about achievements in Iraq or anywhere else

I have said it many, many times here...our side does a TERRIBLE JOB of getting the truth out there.

43 posted on 11/08/2006 8:38:31 AM PST by Puppage (You may disagree with what I have to say, but I shall defend to your death my right to say it)
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To: pissant

If Democrats run conservative whites who mostly stay silent, they will continue to win.


44 posted on 11/08/2006 8:40:42 AM PST by Democratshavenobrains
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To: nmh

Agreed, however, I'd rather that the dems have a good year in 2006 and (hopefully) a bad year in 2008.


45 posted on 11/08/2006 9:20:34 AM PST by proudpapa (of three.)
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To: proudpapa
I suppose ... I can only hope SOMETHING good may come out of this nightmare ... and damage is minimized .
46 posted on 11/08/2006 9:32:38 AM PST by nmh (Intelligent people recognize Intelligent Design (God) .)
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To: wagglebee
George Allen would likely have been the next POTUS except for one single, stupid word in a campaign that he would have otherwise won comfortably.

That was just a symptom, not the cause. The guy wasn't ready for primetime, period.

47 posted on 11/08/2006 9:33:46 AM PST by dfwgator
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To: Puppage

"I have said it many, many times here...our side does a TERRIBLE JOB of getting the truth out there."

ASBOLUTLY!

I don't understand WHY that IS.


48 posted on 11/08/2006 9:34:08 AM PST by nmh (Intelligent people recognize Intelligent Design (God) .)
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To: nmh
I'm pissed at BUSH. He LETS the main stream media totally distort his message and says NOTHING about achievements in Iraq or anywhere else.

Why don't you direct your anger at the people you should be pissed at.

49 posted on 11/08/2006 9:38:31 AM PST by Pikachu_Dad
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To: pissant

Links for Sec of State site?


50 posted on 11/08/2006 9:40:28 AM PST by Salvation (╬?With God all things are possible.╬)
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