Bullock banking on his ‘purple’ politics

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的知 Steve Bullock, and I知 running for president.

With those eight words, after months of speculation, Gov. Bullock formally announced last week his candidacy in the 2020 presidential election. Montana痴 two-term governor joins a record field of 23 other candidates vying to earn the Democratic Party痴 nomination to challenge President Donald Trump痴 re-election bid.

Bullock, 53, is pitching himself as a centrist with a track record of reaching across party lines, and the national media has been quick to hype that he痴 the only Democrat in the field to be twice elected in a so-called red state. Bullock won re-election as Montana governor in 2016 with 50.2 percent of the vote on the same day that Trump won Montana with 56.2 percent of the ballots.

However, early indications show Bullock with a long road ahead in fundraising efforts and gaining name recognition outside of Big Sky Country if he hopes to get on the national debate stage with the likes of former Vice President Joe Biden, Sen. Bernie Sanders, Sen. Kamala Harris, or up-and-comers mayor Pete Buttigieg and Rep. Beto O坦ourke. The latest poll from Reuters/Ipsos showed Biden with a solid 5-point lead over the field, while Montana痴 governor hardly registered a blip.

Still, Rolling Stone magazine ranks Bullock at No. 14 in its power poll of White House hopefuls, and describes him as the 溺ontana governor with a Deadwood-worthy name who could be a 2020 dark horse.

滴e won statewide office in a state Trump carried by 20 points and then got a GOP-majority Legislature to agree to expand Medicaid, the magazine notes.

Expect Bullock to play that card throughout his campaign a Democrat who can advance the party痴 agenda while also appealing to the rural voters who carried Trump to Washington, D.C.

He hit that point hard and often in his campaign launch video.

的 don稚 have the luxury of just talking to people who agree with me, Bullock said about serving as a Democrat in a state with a Republican-led Legislature. 的 go all across our state and look for common ground to get things done.

He also reminded voters of his modest upbringing in Helena, an obvious attempt to contrast himself with President Trump.

的 was raised by a single mom who struggled just to get by, he said. 的 only knew there was a governor痴 house in town because I delivered newspapers to it. Now my wife, Lisa, and I are raising our kids in that same house.

To Bullock痴 credit, he has already gained the endorsement of Iowa痴 Attorney General, who described him as someone 努ith proven character, a record of success, and an ability to connect with all Americans.

It痴 a long shot, but among the crowded field of Democrats who are banking on more liberal agendas, Bullock might just find a way to connect with America痴 heartland with his brand of 菟urple Montana politics.

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