Analysis: Indian Vote Key to Democratic Victories

Democrats in Montana’s key stateside races received over 70 percent of the Indian vote in the 2012 election, exceeding the 48-49 percent of the statewide vote they received by a wide margin.

The support likely played a major role in the senate, gubernatorial, and state superintendent races — and, conversely, in the Republicans’ failure to make any gains in statewide seats.

New figures from Montana Native Voice [PDF] show that Jon Tester won by approximately 16,000 votes–8,000 of which came from Indian country.  Steve Bullock won by about 6,000 votes and received 8,000 from Indian voters.  Denise Juneau won by over 2,000 more votes than her opponent and received 8,000 from Indians. Juneau is Montana’s first Indian woman to be elected to statewide office.

The numbers also show record high voter turnout in targeted democratic precincts in Indian country.  Indian voter turnout in targeted districts was 61% in 2012 compared to 60% in 2008 and 52% in 2006.  In contract, CNN is reporting that estimates of Montana’s 2012 statewide voter turnout was lower in 2012 lower than it was in 2008.

Strong support from Indian country could serve as a catalyst to build on Native representation and voices in key leadership roles at the state and federal level.  But while some seek to build on Governor Schweitzer’s legacy of reaching out to Indian people to make sure they are acknowledged, respected, and included–conservatives are already calling tribal sovereignty “ridiculous.”

Just yesterday, a Kalispell TEA Party Republican–and featured speaker at Republican Party events–penned an editorial that said Indian sovereignty is an “anachronism ” that has “long since served its purpose.”

On the right-wing blog PolyMontana, Mark Agather wrote that he knows full well:

“many will find this viewpoint way outside of their preferred politically correct viewpoint. But, times change. So should our policies with the Indian tribes. New approaches to old ways are hard for many to fathom much less accept. However, when the emotional shrieks and inevitable name calling has diminished, such a consideration should be worthy of a rational discussion.”

Watch for something along these lines to come up in the next legislative session.

Posted: November 14, 2012 at 7:47 pm

This post was written by Cowgirl

23 thoughts on “Analysis: Indian Vote Key to Democratic Victories

  1. Jan Thomas

    Couple of points – first, to exceed 2008 voter turnout levels–a year when over 100 Montana organizers were hired by the presidential campaign to turnout voters, is remarkable. Kudos to whomever was involved in this effort. Two – THANK YOU INDIAN VOTERS!

  2. James Conner

    Overall, Montana’s turnout was down from 2008, both as a percentage of registered voters and of the voting eligible population. See I’ll update that page after the official canvass, and the turnout rate will be a bit higher now that the provisional ballots have been counted, but it will still be lower than in 2008.

    In addition to looking at turnout percentages, analysts should look at the actual numbers of VEP, registered voters, and votes cast.

      1. Larry Kralj, Environmental Rangers

        Here’s one for all the little dickweeds out there that want to secede. Secede, little dicweeds, secede!

        You see, I have been asking these little dickweeds for YEARS the same question. NONE would answer. And the question I asked is as simple as they are.

        I asked that since they claim to be great patriots, just WHAT is it that you love about the country?

        Well, they have made clear their answer with all this talk about secession. They HATE America and all that it stands for! That is why they are dickweeds.

  3. Publius II

    Can any ‘bagger’ really say in their heart they believe – when they recite the Pledge (Not GROVER’S!) of Allegiance – in Liberty and Justice for ALL??

  4. Ingemar Johansson

    The election is over, the talking is done.
    My party lost, your party won.
    So let us be friends, let arguments pass,
    I’ll hug my elephant, you kiss your ass.

    1. Larry Kralj, Environmental Rangers

      You’re RIGHT, Ingy, but may I boast?
      The election is over and the Pubbies are toast!
      So let us be friends, what’s happened is past,
      I’m not sayin’ you’re slow, only half fast!

  5. Richard Miller

    The repuglicans did not want ANY non white person to run for any office let alone win. Look at the race for super. of pub. instuction-Denise Juneau is the wrong color for the pubbies.

    1. Larry Kralj, Environmental Rangers

      I FEEL YOU PAIN, B DUDE! The Libertardtarians are a farce to be reckoned with! I agree!

      But here, here’s a song for all them Libertardtarians like Ingy to help ease their pain of defeat. Maybe you’ve heard of the Orange Blossom Special? Well, this ain’t it. This here song is the Turd Blossom Special!


      And it goes out to all the Pubbie losers out there and their Big Kockh pals, esPECIALLY to the Big Kockhs! This song is for YOU! Enjoy. I sure did!

    2. Susan Curtis

      I agree that the libertarian vote was a factor here. I also think thought that Indian voters are a group that can clearly demonstrate their support was key to the elections. We’ve heard a lot of groups claiming that it was their work that got these candidates elected–for example, a ridiculous claim by Planned Parenthood that they “delivered” thousands of votes for candidates just because they sent mailers to them. But these numbers show indian votes were among the key factors in dem victories.

  6. Dave

    Without the Libertarians, Republicans would control almost every office, with exceptions of the State Auditor and the Clerk’s race, presuming that OPI goes Republican with a re-count. I guess some people just don’t think we need the idea of more liberty.

    1. Larry Kralj, Environmental Rangers

      Bullshit. Silly, silly comment. But for the record, how do you surmise to know just HOW Libertardtarians would vote? Are you psychic, or just stoopid? BTW, is that B in your handle for bullshit? You GREATLY overestimate both your intelligence and importance, dude! And just WHAT is that liberty that we’re lacking? You’re a funny dude.

  7. Larry Kralj, Environmental Rangers

    HE SHE COMES! The much ballyhooed civil war if the terrorist Hussein wins the election!

    Well, not exactly a civil war, but a war just the same! Well, not exactly a war, but fighting and slaughtering just the same! One SIDED slaughtering! Of prisoners!

    For you see, the little bitch Bibi don’t LIKE the results of the American election, so that little nazi tail is gonna wag that ol’ American dog!

    What a nazi piece of crap that man is! Time to tell israil to SECEDE! We don’t NEED/WANT any more best buddy allies like the nazis in israil! They’re chosen (tee hee). They can go it alone! And BTW, Bibi, KISS MY AMERICAN ASS! (When you gonna apologize for slauhtering our sailors on the U.S.S. Liberty??)

  8. larry kurtz

    It’s important to remember that Native Alaska and states with sovereign tribal nations within their borders are dependent by treaty. Montana was one state where non-white voters elected Democrats because we tend to more appreciate a heritage bound to Earth rather than to capital.

    One unfortunate reality is that bean counters cherry-pick numbers to support their state employers’ biases to better compete with tribes for federal resources.

    Red state collapse continues.

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