Wonktte's boss lady, her attendant, and candidate Rob Quist


After a campaign that's seen accusations of the Democratic candidate singing to naked people and the Republican candidate committing an actual assault on a reporter, Montana's special election to replace Ryan "Master And Commander" Zinke in Congress wraps up when the polls close at 8 p.m., "Mountain Time," which would be 10:00 Eastern, 7:00 Pacific, and god only knows in Idaho. Democrat Rob Quist hopes to take the state's single congressional seat away from the Republicans, and has a fair chance of it because nobody likes Republican Greg Gianforte, and that was before Gianforte was charged with misdemeanor assault for wilding on Guardian reporter Ben Jacobs. When Gianforte ran for governor in the fall, his vote ran well behind Donald Trump's, and the Democrat, Steve Bullock, won by just under five percent. Still, Republicans have done what they could to help Gianforte, killing off a bill that would have conducted all the balloting by mail, because, as the Republican party chair argued, too many people voting leads to Democrats being elected.

[wonkbar]<a href="http://www.wonkette.com/617686/montana-sheriff-to-ragemonster-republican-thug-greg-gianforte-%C2%AF_%E3%83%84_%C2%AF"></a>[/wonkbar]As things stand, about two-thirds of likely voters have already voted absentee, although Montana does allow same-day registration and the prospect of Greg Gianforte literally having a bully pulpit in Congress may pull in some additional voters today. Quist has been campaigning hard against Donald Trump's agenda, and in Montana, like everywhere else, the Republican effort to kill off Obamacare is Not Loved -- Gianforte has gone out of his way to avoid taking a position on the House's awful bill, and in fact it was a question about the CBO score of the bill that prompted him to deck Jacobs and then release a lying statement accusing the reporter of having grabbed him, possibly because Gianforte assumed his word would be more persuasive than audio recordings and eyewitnesses.

As election day has rolled along, House Speaker Paul Ryan has called on Gianforte to apologize, possibly because Ryan at least wants to appear not to condone candidates roughing up reporters. No apologies yet from Gianforte, who is apparently hoping that online tough guys making hilarious jokes about punching snowflakes will be all the defense he needs. Or maybe he read in the Bible that Noah punched a reporter during the building of the Ark. That is where Gianforte finds his wisdom, like the idea that the earth is 6,000 years old or that people should work until they die.

It's about four and a half hours to the closing of the polls, and Yr Doktor Zoom will be here to help you watch the returns! Now get to Open Threading!

Update (10:10 EDT): Polls are closed in Montana, so we're moving this puppy to the top of the page. Updates occasionally as we get 'em!

10:48 EDT From the New York Times:

No! Sleep! 'Til White Sulphur Springs!

10:55 EDT Yr Editrix reports from Quist HQ: "Nacho bar, because you literally can't spend $6m on ads in Montana"

11:00 And here is Rob Quist's daughter Halladay, singing for the crowd:

11:15 More music 'n' waiting for returns!

Did we say returns? Here are returns, again from NYT:

11:47 Well, farts.

11:50 More singing by Rob Quist's hippie daughter. Rebecca says she's expecting a call for Gianforte shortly, and "If he does win I will start the recall myself on Mon. He was charged w a crime nite b4 election, with a month of early voring in" ... "i hate phone typing"

12:05 Nuts, no recall for federal offices. I think I knew that.

12:32 Phooey. Not entirely surprising that a Republican State is going Republican, but Phooey:

And the long view from FiveThirtyEight:

12:40 Aaaaand the AP has called it:

12:55 Gianforte giving a victory speech, blah blah blah, not listening, and Yr Wonkette is going to bed. Yr Editrix says: "Tell them I'm not buying it and to hold tight til morning." Then she adds, "tell em thats some fucking bullshit dok" and "never gibe up neber surrender. fucking thumbs." You know, like in Galaxu Qyest.

Ah, Gianforte is sorry for taking an action he should not have, and apologizes without qualification to Ben Jacobs, and to the Fox News team who witnessed it. No apology for issuing a press release that was nothing but LIES!

Yr Wonkette is supported by reader donations. You could do that right now by clicking the "Donate" linky below.

[Politico / NBC News / NBC News / NYT]

Doktor Zoom

Doktor Zoom's real name is Marty Kelley, and he lives in the wilds of Boise, Idaho. He is not a medical doctor, but does have a real PhD in Rhetoric. You should definitely donate some money to this little mommyblog where he has finally found acceptance and cat pictures. He is on maternity leave until 2033. Here is his Twitter, also. His quest to avoid prolixity is not going so great.

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