Analysis: Republican takeover hopes dashed
LEWIS AND CLARK COUNTY
An election that held great expectations for Montana Republicans turned into a GOP flop at the ballot box.
Republicans had been counting on a new era of political dominance by taking back a U.S. Senate seat lost in 2006 and returning to control of the governor's office lost in 2004.
None of that happened. The party instead must console itself with control of the Legislature and wins in lesser races.
Montana State University political scientist David Parker says by conventional wisdom, U.S. Sen. Jon Tester should have lost to U.S. Rep. Denny Rehberg.
But several unexpected things happened.
Turnout for Democrats was high, and the Libertarian candidate drew away votes from Rehberg. Parker says Republicans also seem to have lost some women and elderly voters from their base.
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