Both Ben Smith and Chris Cillizza turned their backs to the East today — Smith wrote a quick note about the DNC’s memo about “McCain’s Problems in the West” and Cillizza wrote a post handicapping the Democratic primary in Montana. Both reporters anticipate that the region will be in play. “Except for Utah, those ‘cactus caucus’ state could be hotly contested this fall, taking on Ohio- or Florida-like status in campaign coverage,” Smith suggested.
But Cillizza also sees Montana as a potential Tier I battleground in the Democratic primary in June. “It’s clear that Obama must be considered a favorite in the state given the population hub of Missoula and his on the ground efforts throughout the state,” Cillizza writes. “But it would be a mistake to write Clinton off, as Montana’s primary is not Idaho’s caucuses (or Wyoming’s, or Colorado’s) and she has several pockets of obvious support in the state.”
One thing is for sure, the press corps is sure lucky to have the opportunity to go to Montana in June. Just don’t forget that rules of Big Sky County: “In Montana there’s three things we’re never late for: church, work and fishing.”