It may not be surprising that in a state that did not cast its electoral votes for President Obama that news of his re-election drew mixed reaction at the party headquarters Tuesday night.
News of networks’ projections of Obama’s win drew cheers from Montanans who had spent most of the night waiting for results in the closely fought statewide races.
“I voted for him and because I feel like it means good things for our country,” said Hannah Berglund, 21, a Helena student at the University of Montana. “He sees things the way I do when it comes to civil rights issues and I think that’s what’s most important overall.”
Others at the Great Northern Hotel in Helena echoed Berglund’s optimism.
“I think it takes us in the right direction. It means that middle class people will have a chance to improve their access to opportunities. Most of the economic programs that he’s been pursuing will come to fruition. Economically, America will be stronger in four years,” said Randy Fuhrmann, 52, a professional mental health counselor.
But across town at the Republican party near the state Capitol, Obama’s re-election sent a far more chilling message.
“I’m disappointed. I fear for our country,” former gubernatorial candidate Neil Livingstone said Tuesday night, expressing deep concerns that the Senate would remain in Democratic hands.
“The country’s very divided. This campaign has been very divisive,” Livingstone added.
Results were incomplete at press time, but the Montana Secretary of State website showed Mitt Romney winning Montana with 55 percent of the vote. In Yellowstone County, Romney had nearly 59 percent of the vote.
In other national races, Steve Daines was declared the winner over Kim Gillan in their race for the U.S. House.Mr. Daines had 53 percent of the vote at press time.
The Senate race between incumbent Jon Tester and Denny Rehberg remained unresolved. Sen. Tester was shown leading Rep. Rehberg, with 49 percent of the vote to 45 percent.