Montana Governor and 2020 presidential hopeful Steve Bullock chats with voters and shows off his grilling skills at the Iowa State Fair.

Montana Governor and 2020 presidential hopeful Steve Bullock chats with voters and shows off his grilling skills at the Iowa State Fair.

Montana Gov. Steve Bullock is running for president. He’s part of a (now shorter) list of Democratic candidates — but he’s still just one of 20 vying for the party’s nomination.

Bullock is the term-limited governor of Montana. He won the seat in 2016 by 4 points — when President Donald Trump won the state by about 20.

He’s making a pitch to voters that he’s able to unite a divided state, and could do the same for the country.

Here’s more from FiveThirtyEight:

But Bullock might have trouble replicating his Montana success in a national general election. That’s because party identification is relatively weak in Montana, making it easier for a Democrat to get elected there than in other red states. Third-party candidates have historically done well in Montana, and the state has a high elasticity score, indicating that it has a high share of persuadable voters. Consequently, split-ticket voting is fairly common in Montana. In addition to 2016, when Bullock won statewide even as Trump carried the state, 2012 saw Montana elect a Democratic governor (Bullock), senator (Jon Tester), secretary of state, state auditor and state superintendent of public instruction at the same time it was voting for Mitt Romney by 14 points.

But Bullock’s emphasis on converting Trump voters may still be an effective message in the primary — there are plenty of delegates up for grabs in white, rural states. The Mountain West primaries are an obvious opportunity for him, but so might be Iowa, where Bullock has the support of the state attorney general and could be a good demographic fit.

He’s also focused on the influence of money in politics. He explained to the NPR Politics Podcast how he thinks voters perceive that phenomenon.

So I don’t think, like, if you walk down the street in Sioux City, most people are saying, you know what? The biggest issue out there is the corrosive influence of money in our system. But what they would say is, this economy is not working for me, and Washington, D.C., doesn’t seem to give a damn about me.

We talk to Bullock about his presidential campaign, why he’s not running for senator against Montana Republican Steve Daines and more.

Produced by Gabrielle Healy.

Guests

  • Steve Bullock Governor of Montana, Democratic presidential candidate; @GovernorBullock

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