Montana Democrats sense a chance to capture US House seat

Montana Democrats sense a chance to capture US House seat
In this May 3, 2018, photo five Democratic candidates for Montana's U.S. House seat from left, John Heenan, John Meyer, Jared Pettinato, Grant Kier and Kathleen Williams listen to a question during a candidate forum in Helena, Mont. (AP Photo/Matt Volz)

HELENA, Mont. (AP) — For more than two decades, Montana’s lone U.S. House seat has been a sacrificial altar where Democratic candidates’ dreams are squashed.

But the five candidates competing for the Democratic nomination in the June 5 primary election say this year is different.

They say the voters who gave President Donald Trump a huge win two years ago may be having second thoughts now. Also, U.S. Rep. Greg Gianforte appears to be more vulnerable than past incumbents.

In the 2016 elections, Gianforte was the only statewide Republican candidate to lose. He was defeated by Democratic Gov. Steve Bullock, who won another term.

Twelve Democratic candidates have lost to Republicans since 1996 in elections for Montana’s U.S. House seat. Only two of those 12 went on to win any other election at all.