Did Steve Bullock’s Late Entry Hurt His Chances?
By: Mary Pat Luetke-Stahlman
The Governor of Montana, Steve Bullock is in the democratic debates during the second round replacing Eric Swalwell who dropped out of running. Swalwell had been a 2020 Presidential Candidate until July 8, 2019. Swalwell announced at the time that he believed that it was smarter to leave now. At the press conference, Swalwell said he wanted to be honest about his odds of winning. “If there was a viable chance, I would not be standing here today,” he said. (Times)
Because of his late start, he tried to cue up a contrast with Sanders saying in his opening statement that struggling Americans, “Can’t wait for a revolution” but he would provide zero support for his angle. Also spent a lot of time struggling with delivery of his content.
An independent Newspaper (Independent Record) from Helen, Montana has an opinion editorial posted in May of 2019 which emphasized the hope that Bullock will stick to his “Montana values” and utilize his ability to reach “across the aisle” (Independent Record) however in the same Op-Ed article, it is mentioned that he is shifting more to the left ever since he had explored the option of running for president.
During his run for governor in Montana, he had opposed universal background checks during his 2016 campaign, he has since come to support them and called for a ban on assault rifles. People are concerned that this shows his inability to stick to his values as a politician. While it’s important that he adapts, this can hurt his ability to continue to be someone that Montanans recognize as someone they can rely on and trust.
He is the only candidate in the democratic party that won a position in a state that was won by Trump. His campaign says,
“Steve Bullock is the two-term, Democratic Governor and former Attorney General of Montana. He’s the only candidate for President who’s won a Trump state, and he’s spent his career fighting the influence of Big Money in politics. Now he’s running for President to take that fight to Washington and ensure every American gets a fair shot at success.” (Steve Bullock)
His campaign manager said to CBS News, “It's clear Governor Bullock's message of winning back places Democrats lost in 2016 and ending dark money's corrupting influence will resonate in early states like Iowa and New Hampshire, and he will continue working to earn every vote.” (Jenn Rider)
However Bullock’s strengths were not clear last night at the debate. If he is not prepared for a debate, people have questioned how he can be ready to run the country. He can’t even name a single accomplishment he has had politically (Townhall)