For a Montana Senator like Steve Daines (R-MT) to endorse President Donald J. Trump in 2020, that's important- but it's also not surprising. For a US Senator, especially one in a Senate leadership position like Daines, to endorse Trump in 2024- that's a big deal. Here's why.

First, the news. As Ryan Schmelz reports for Fox News Radio:

The senator making the endorsement on Donald Trump Jr's podcast, "Triggered," praising the former president's work on cutting taxes and immigration. Daines becomes the latest lawmaker to throw his support behind the former president, which includes Congresswoman Elise Stefanik from New York, who chairs the House Republican Conference.

What makes this a big deal nationally is the fact that Daines is a member of the Senate leadership team, and Senate Republican Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) is clearly no fan of President Trump, so clearly Daines is able to stake independent positions and forge his own path. It is also significant from the standpoint that Daines is the Chairman of the National Republican Senatorial Committee (NRSC) which is tasked with taking back control of the US Senate in 2024. Clearly he says Trump's supporters as critical to that effort.

I also thinks it makes sense from a Montana standpoint. I think if you were to ask most Republican and conservative voters across the state- they would tell you that they support President Trump, and they also support Florida Governor Ron DeSantis (R-FL), who may be eyeing a run for the White House in 2024 also.

So if you're a US Senator like Daines, why get in the middle of Trump and DeSantis and pick a side? This is my take: because Montana would not have seen the red waves we saw in 2016 and again in 2020 if it were not for Donald J. Trump. Did Montana Republicans field good candidates? Yes. But the enthusiasm and the appeal to blue collar voters that Donald Trump brought to the table clearly swept the GOP into their now dominant position in Montana politics.


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