No. 22: Another Democrat Is In, With a Key Bragging Point

Montana Gov. Steve Bullock has won in a solidly red state
By Newser Editors,  Newser Staff
Posted May 14, 2019 6:01 AM CDT

Democrats are closing in on the two-dozen mark. Montana Gov. Steve Bullock joined the race Tuesday morning, making him (by most counts) the 22nd major candidate to do so. As the Daily Beast notes, the 53-year-old has one key attribute he's expected to bring up often: He knows how to win in a solidly red state. More specifically, he won re-election in 2016 in a state President Trump carried by 20 points, per NPR. So, yes, he's an underdog with weak national name recognition, but that particular "message might resonate," writes Nathaniel Rakich at FiveThirtyEight. Bullock, who is expected to make campaign finance reform a major talking point in his campaign, launched his run with this video.

“As a Democratic governor of a state that Trump won by 20 points, I don’t have the luxury of just talking to people who agree with me,” he says in the video, titled "Fair Shot." He says the 2020 election is "the fight of our lifetime" because of the necessity of defeating Trump. "I believe in an America where every child has a fair shot to do better than their parents," he says. "But we all know that kind of opportunity no longer exists for most people; for far too many, it never has." Bullock is seen as a pragmatist who can work with GOP lawmakers, as he did in expanding Medicaid in his state, per the New York Times. But the newspaper also points out what could be a fundamental problem: He has a relatively tiny fundraising base, at least as of now. (Lost track of who's in? Here's a list.)

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