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Candidate Quality Revisited

The New York Times is reporting that Rep. Matt "Candidate Quality" Rosendale (R-MT) is going to announce his run for the GOP Senate nomination in Montana this weekend. Whoever gets the nomination will challenge Sen. Jon Tester (D-MT). The other senator from the Big Sky Country, Steve Daines, runs the NRSC and does not want Rosendale to run in the worst way. But there is no legal way to stop him from filing, and he is apparently planning to do it. He has been mulling this race for months and is reportedly now going to jump in.

Daines is fully backing Tim Sheehy, a wealthy businessman who owns an aerial firefighting company. Not only can Sheehy self-fund the race, but he is probably moderate enough to avoid splitting the Republican vote. Rosendale, by contrast, is a fire-breathing dragon who would cause many Republicans to shake their heads "no" and vote for Tester. We know this for a fact because that is what happened in 2018 when Rosendale ran against Tester and lost.

If the report is true and Rosendale announces this weekend, there will be a bitter ideological primary in Montana, pitting Trumpists against non-Trumpists. Daines is scared that Rosendale could win this and then go down in flames in the general election, just like last time.

The primary will test Donald Trump to the hilt. Will he endorse someone (Rosendale) who praises him to the moon, claims the 2020 election was stolen from him, and is everything he might want in a candidate, except he probably can't win? Or will he endorse the moderate Sheehy, who is not a true believer at all? Democrats are hoping that Trump will pick Rosendale, thus propelling him to the nomination, after which they can watch him go down in flames in November, just like last time. (V)

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