Politics

Delegating Denver #30 of 56: Montana

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Montana

Total Number of Delegates: 24 Pledged: 16 Unpledged: 8

How to Recognize a Montana Delegate: Residents of the Treasure State think that their Last Best Place isthe Jewel of the Lower 48. On average, there are only seven Montanans per square mile of Big Sky Country, and despite being surrounded by all that space and scenic splendor, none of them get along. At first it seems that they are timid, or maybe just a bit cranky. But the truth is, Montanans don't much like people. Especially uninvited guests. You'd think that being bordered by Idaho, Wyoming and North Dakota would be enough to keep people away. It does keep out the working poor, but it doesn't stop the trustafarians and the rich. Zillionaires fly in on private jets and buy huge tracts of land to build their get-away compounds, then put up "No Trespassing" signs and complain about the quality of wines served at the annual Testicle Festival. What's a Montanan to do? With one of the lowest per capita incomes and the highest per capita gun ownership in the country, their "Montana Values" are quickly exploited by politicians and made into public policy. Which perfectly explains the nuance of the state's latest tourism ad campaign: "Montana Sucks. Go Tell All Your Friends." At the Denver convention, the "tell" for Montana delegates will be their vintage fashions. Females prefer to wear clothing from the Carter era, while males all dress like extras from the set of High Chapparal. Montanans will be the delegates who are ignoring you — but don't think of them as snobs. After all, they’re not judging you; they're merely trying to imagine that you don't exist at all.

Famous Montanans: Ancient actors Myrna "Mrs. Thin Man" Loy, Martha "Big Mouth" Raye, Gary “High Noon” Cooper; motorcycle daredevil Evil Knievel; filmmaking daredevil David Lynch; Oregon D.I.Y. art daredevil Brad Adkins; Pearl Jam bassist Jeff Ament; Decembrists lead singer Colin Meloy; church lady Dana Carvey.

Famous Montana Democrats: Longest-serving majority leader in the U.S. Senate Mike Mansfield; the only person ever to be designated the “permanent acting president pro tempore of the U.S. Senate” Lee Metcalf; former congressman Pat "Mr. Carol" Williams; current senators Max Baucus and Jon Tester.

Famous Montanans With Denver Connections: Former Duffy's owners Ken and Frank Lombardi; Ready-Temp boss man Jim Hannifin; American Furniture chairman Jake Jabs; KBCO morning showman Bret Saunders; Aurora cowboy bluesman Steve Traycee; Ralphie the Buffalo.

State Nickname: The Treasure State, Big Sky Country, The Last Best Place (official); The Superfund State, Land of Celebrity Viewsheds, Montucky (unofficial) Population: 944,632 Racial Distribution: 90% white, 0.4% black, 0.6% Asian, 6.4% Native American, 2.6% Hispanic Per Capita Personal Income: $25,929 Unemployment: 4.7%

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Sean Cronin