And for a while the battle between Republican business owner Greg Gianforte and Democratic bluegrass singer Rob Quist revolved around attacks on each other's personality and foibles (Gianforte's carpetbagger status and wealth, Quist's personal finances), and not on any big national themes.
The cowboy hat-wearing candidate has also attracted about $6 million in funding from Democrat donors and some high-profile support; Bernie Sanders campaigned alongside him last weekend. "This is the strangest thing that has ever happened to me in reporting on politics".
"It's close to a toss-up".
Campaign spending in Montana's U.S. House race is surging in the final days with significant amounts placed on getting out the vote.
"Tomorrow, we have the chance to stand up and defend our values in Washington", Quist tweeted Wednesday.
Gianforte, a technology executive, has led consistently in polls for the special election, but Quist has narrowed that lead to single digits in recent weeks, according to private surveys. But Republicans and Democrats alike believe this election could be different.
"If the Republicans hang on to the House seat vacated by Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke, the sighs of relief from imperiled GOP incumbents may set off every wind chime in the D.C. area". "In the greatest country on earth, people should not have to declare bankruptcy just because they have a health care issue".
Quist is vehemently opposed to the Republican bill, approved by the House of Representatives last month by a 217-213 margin, that would repeal and replace Obamacare.
Gianforte supports the Republicans' recently passed health care bill, has stood against anti-discrimination laws in Bozeman and is seen by many as a Trump surrogate.
The Guardian quickly posted an audio recording of the incident. But McConnell's goal is probably to free Senate Republicans from being blamed for inaction rather than concocting a piece of legislation that would survive scrutiny by the right-wing House Freedom Caucus. "We're still waiting on the (Congressional Budget Office) data, as to whether or not it actually brings premiums down". Gianforte is still favored to keep the seat red, but a state Trump carried by 20 percentage points a year ago became a battleground in the past few months. A national poll, meanwhile, found only 21% of voters approved of the Republican bill.
A win by Rob Quist would send shockwaves through the Republican Party and provide the first signal there could be a midterm disaster waiting for Republicans in 2018.
"We are receiving a number of phone calls in our home, polling, in our home", Wilson said.
"Obviously it would have huge implications just in terms of the numbers", Cornyn said.
Out-of-state political groups have spent $5 million to help fund the negative ads reaching across the state. Republicans have held the seat for two decades, and Trump won the state by more than 20 points. That outlet published an examination of the race's highly negative tone-and whether voters have tuned out at this point, after the 2016 presidential contest.