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Montana primary: Does it matter?

BILLINGS, Mont. - It looks like the board is set for the presidential primaries. So where does that leave states that haven't had their primaries yet?

Montana's primary isn't until June 7. KULR-8 Political Analyst Lee Banville said, with one of the last primaries in the country, Montana often misses out on the whole presidential campaign. And he said it has happened again.

But with Donald Trump the presumptive Republican presidential nominee and Hillary Clinton the probable nominee for the Democrats, Banville said Montana voters don't really have much to decide when they go to the polls this summer.

Banville said what will be interesting to watch will be how our gubernatorial candidates and congressional candidates react to what's happening at the top of the ticket.

"Will Steve Bullock and Denise Juneau say 'I'm a Clinton Democrat, I support the national party,' or are they going to try and kind of distance themselves from her because they're worried that she may not be popular in a state like Montana?" Banville said. "And on the flip side, especially Greg Gianforte, but to a certain degree also Ryan Zinke are going to have to decide, 'Am I a Trump Republican? Do I want to be sort of associated with some of the policies he's espousing, or do I kind of want to distance myself because I'm worried I'm not sure how he's going to play in Montana?'"

The presidential race will likely be uncontested, which Banville said could lead to low voter turnout in June. So what does this mean for Montana's contested races?

"The big challenge may be for those senators and state house members who are in contested races to get people out to vote," Banville said. "Because now it's going to be relatively small numbers of voters deciding some of these contested party primaries at the state house level."

Banville said it's the contested statewide races where Montanans will see the most action in the coming months.

(Original Story)

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