Despite Democratic spin that the 24,000+ vote victory is somehow a victory for them because the Gianforte percentage was low, the GOP win is well within range of other Montana open congressional races. When now-Senator Steve Daines (R) first won the at-large district in 2012, his percentage was 53%. Two years later, in the GOP wave election, current US Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke (R) notched 55% in his first time on the ballot. Despite Gianforte being projected as the winner, one county, Glacier, remains uncounted. When the final vote totals are recorded, Gianforte’s win percentage will likely increase to a small degree.
Turnout for this race was record setting, with what will be more than 375,000 people voting. In the 2014 mid-term election, for example, voter turnout came in just short of 368,000.