HELENA, Mont. — If there’s anyone who can empathize with the voters of Georgia’s 6th Congressional District, who have been blitzed by a flurry of political canvassers, robo-calls and attack ads for the better part of three months, it’s the people of Montana.
Their statewide congressional race has become the subject of the same national intrigue that’s shaped the special election in the north Atlanta suburbs to replace Health and Human Services Secretary Tom Price. Montana voters head to the polls Thursday to select who will succeed Ryan Zinke, who vacated his U.S. House seat this spring to serve as interior secretary.
While neither race will shift the balance of power in the House of Representatives, whoever wins is expected to create some early national momentum in the lead-up to the 2018 midterm elections.
Those stakes — combined with Democrat Jon Ossoff’s near-outright win during the first round of 6th District voting last month — have fueled a surge of outside interest in Montana’s contest.
The attention is being met here with a mix of excitement, curiosity, frustration and exhaustion, depending on who you ask.