The Best of 2014

Thanks to you, 2014 was another great year here at The Western Word (TWW)!

TWW has been an active blog since January 10, 2005, and I don’t plan on stopping anytime soon.

A special thanks to the 163 subscribers to TWW. By the way, you can be notified of new columns by subscribing – and it’s FREE.  You can do that by clicking on the +Follow tab in the bottom right corner and entering your e-mail address, or by going to the subscribe box on the right side of the page (under the Twitter feed box) and entering your e-mail address there.

It is always fun to see which columns are viewed the most and from where the columns are viewed. This past year people from 98 countries visited TWW. A special “shout-out” to the nine people in China who stopped by!

In 2014, there were 315 new posts, growing the total archive of this blog to 2,415 posts.

Listed below are the top five columns that received the most views in 2014:

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MT Senate 2014: 14 Debates?

Last week I wrote that there should always be at least two debates for the federal candidates after Labor Day.

Yesterday, U.S. Senate candidate Amanda Curtis (D) challenged U.S. Congressman (and Senate candidate) Steve Daines (R) and Roger Roots (L) to 14 debates. According to a press release from Curtis, the debates would be held “in the state’s seven major cities and on Montana’s seven Indian reservations.”

Some may say this is a “Hail Mary” from the Curtis campaign and it probably is. Daines should debate Curtis and Roots at least twice and stop trying to run out the clock because he has a substantial lead in the polls.

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MT Senate 2014: Plus 10

Mondays in the summer are not supposed to be too exciting, but with a new poll showing a dramatic change in Montana’s U.S. Senate race between Sen. John Walsh and Rep. Steve Daines, yesterday had to be pretty exciting for the Walsh campaign. That’s probably not the case in the Daines camp.

Public Policy Polling (PPP) released the results of a new Montana Senate poll yesterday morning showing Senator John Walsh has gained 10 points on Steve Daines since their last poll in November. Walsh now trails Daines by just seven points 46-39.

Some headlines told it this way:

Poll: Walsh closing on Daines in U.S. Senate raceThe Bozeman Daily Chronicle

New poll shows Montana U.S. Senate race tighteningKBZK Bozeman

Poll shows Montana’s U.S. Senate race is tighteningKXLH Helena

Here are some things that caught my attention in the latest poll.

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MT Campaign 2014: The Debates

Since it was raining in Great Falls on Saturday, I decided to watch the U.S. Senate and U.S. House debates. About halfway through the senate debate, I checked to see if it was still raining – and it was. So like a prisoner sentenced to more hard time, I subjected myself to more punishment.

So to those reading this, you really owe me big time. Below are my observations and commentary. There are several media reports about the debate, but this one will be different – and probably with more detail and with humor.

Later in this column, I write about missed opportunities, which is kind of a pointed look at some questions that could have been asked – with a touch of sarcasm.

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Campaign 2014: Here We Go!

It was fun to monitor the Montana Secretary of State’s website off and on yesterday to see who was running for office. Big thanks to all who are running for office and best of luck on June 3.

The primary field is basically set, although candidates filing for Independent or Minor Party candidates closes June 2. That’s after the candidate has obtained enough signatures on a petition to run for that office, which is absurd and should be changed. You can also run as a write-in candidate, but there are several hoops to jump through for that, too. You can find information for both methods HERE.

There were a few surprises. You can check out the candidate lists HERE. Here are my thoughts and observations (so far):

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