President Barak Obama in 2008 nearly pulled off an upset of Republican John McCain, losing Montana’s three electoral votes to the Arizona senator by 2 percentage points. In 2012, the pendulum swung back in the conservative direction as Mitt Romney took more than 55 percent of the vote in the state.
Montana hasn’t voted for a Democratic candidate since former President Bill Clinton won the state in 1992—the first win for a Democrat since 1964, when Lyndon Johnson beat Barry Goldwater in a landslide—and in November, his wife’s campaign would score a major upset if it took the state’s electoral votes in an ever-tightening national race.
Donald Trump (R) –
New York businessman and reality television personality Donald Trump made a grandiose entrance into the Republican presidential primary June 16, 2015, when he descended a gilded escalator in Trump Tower before making his announcement speech. To the surprise of most pundits, Trump dispatched with 16 other candidates in the Republican primary on his way to the nomination. Trump is a graduate of the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania and gained worldwide recognition through his numerous business ventures and reality game show “The Apprentice.”
Hillary Clinton (D) –
Hillary Clinton served as first lady of Arkansas, first lady of the United States, a U.S. senator representing New York, and Secretary of State in the Obama Administration. She was defeated by Obama in the 2008 Democratic primary, but won a hotly contested primary over Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders to gain the nomination for November’s general election. Clinton earned her law degree from Yale Law School and has been a fixture in American politics since her husband’s presidency.
Here’s a look at just a few of the issues, and where the candidates stand based on quotes from the first presidential debate held at New York’s Hofstra University on Sept. 26.
Trump: “Our jobs are fleeing the country. They’re going to Mexico. They’re going to many other countries … We have to stop our companies from leaving the United States and, with it, firing all of their people … Under my plan, I’ll be reducing taxes tremendously, from 35 percent to 15 percent for companies, small and big businesses. That’s going to be a job creator like we haven’t seen since Ronald Reagan.”
Clinton: “First, we have to build an economy that works for everyone, not just those at the top. That means we need new jobs, good jobs, with rising incomes … I want us to invest in your future. That means jobs in infrastructure, in advanced manufacturing, innovation and technology, clean, renewable energy, and small business, because most of the new jobs will come from small business. We also have to make the economy fairer. That starts with raising the national minimum wage and also guarantee, finally, equal pay for women’s work.”
Trump: “We have to renegotiate our trade deals, and we have to stop these countries from stealing our companies and our jobs … NAFTA [signed into law by former President Bill Clinton] is the worst trade deal maybe ever signed anywhere, but certainly ever signed in this country.
“And now you [Hillary Clinton] want to approve Trans-Pacific Partnership. You were totally in favor of it. Then you heard what I was saying, how bad it is … But you know that if you did win, you would approve that, and that will be almost as bad as NAFTA.”
Clinton: “When I was in the Senate, I had a number of trade deals that came before me, and I held them all to the same test. Will they create jobs in America? Will they raise incomes in America? And are they good for our national security? Some of them I voted for. The biggest one, a multinational one known as CAFTA, I voted against.
“But let’s not assume that trade is the only challenge we have in the economy … I’m going to have a special prosecutor. We’re going to enforce the trade deals we have, and we’re going to hold people accountable.”
Trump: “Nuclear [war] is the single greatest threat … we defend Japan, we defend Germany, we defend South Korea, we defend Saudi Arabia, we defend countries. They do not pay us. But they should be paying us, because we are providing tremendous service and we’re losing a fortune.
“I think that once the nuclear alternative happens, it’s over. At the same time, we have to be prepared. I can’t take anything off the table. Because you look at some of these countries, you look at North Korea, we’re doing nothing there. China should solve that problem for us.”
Clinton: “[Trump’s] cavalier attitude about nuclear weapons is so deeply troubling. That is the No. 1 threat we face in the world. And it becomes particularly threatening if terrorists ever get their hands on any nuclear material.
“Words matter when you run for president. And they really matter when you are president. And I want to reassure our allies in Japan and South Korea and elsewhere that we have mutual defense treaties and we will honor them.”