Who is Steve Bullock?
Current job: Governor of Montana since 2013.
Family: Bullock and his wife Lisa have been married since 1999 and have three children.
Hometown: Helena, Montana.
Political party: Democratic.
Previous jobs: Attorney General of Montana 2009-2013, attorney, adjunct professor at George Washington University Law School.
Who is Steve Bullock’s direct competition for the nomination?
Based on a recurring series of national surveys we conduct, we can figure out who the other candidates competing in Steve Bullock’s lane are, and who the broader opponents are within the party.
Bullock is a more recent addition to our surveys and at this time has an insufficient sample size for which to draw conclusions, given that just 11% of Democratic voters surveyed by INSIDER had heard of him.
INSIDER has been conducting a recurring poll through SurveyMonkey Audience on a national sample to find out how different candidate’s constituencies overlap. We ask people whether they are familiar with a candidate, whether they would be satisfied or unsatisfied with that candidate as the nominee, and sometimes we also ask whether they think that person would win or lose in a general election against President Donald Trump.
What are Steve Bullock’s policy positions?
- On healthcare:
- Bullock supports increasing access to publicly-funded healthcare, signing Medicaid expansion into law during the 2019 Montana legislative session.
- The bill also included measures to lower the costs of premiums and expensive prescription drugs.
- In the second set of Democratic primary debates in Detroit, Bullock strongly opposed “Medicare for All,” saying he wouldn’t support any plan that “rips away quality healthcare from invididuals.” He went on: “This is an example of wish list economics. It used to be just Republicans who wanted to repeal and replace. Now many Democrats do, as well.”
- On immigration:
- Bullock supports the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program, and supported re-settling Syrian refugees in Montana in 2015.
- In the summer of 2018, Bullock was one of the many Democratic governors to decline to send his state’s National Guard to the US’ Southern border in protest of the Trump administration’s controversial family separation policy.
- On climate change:
- As a governor from a state with robust public lands and wildlife, Bullock has advocated for measures to reduce pollution, protect wildlife, and combat the impacts of climate change.
- “To not acknowledge or deal with our changing climate in a responsible way is shortsighted and dangerous,” Bullock told Montana Public Radio in 2017 after the state experienced record droughts.
- He has, however, supported the coal industry in Montana, and criticized 2016 Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton for her opposition to coal mining.
- On campaign finance/election reform:
- Pursuing campaign finance reform has been the centerpiece of Bullock’s career, and he’s making it the central focus of his presidential campaign.
- After lodging an unsuccessful challenge to the landmark Citizens United decision as Montana’s attorney general, Bullock worked to pass bipartisan legislation banning corporate, undisclosed, and foreign contributions in Montana elections upon becoming governor.
- On his campaign website, Bullock lists his five-point campaign finance reform platform. He would sign an executive order requiring corporations to disclose their donations to qualify for federal contracts and bolstering the enforcement capacity of federal agencies like the FEC to crack down on so-called “dark,” or undisclosed campaign contributions.
- Bullock also wants to ban Super PACs, which can spend unlimited amounts of money on electioneering, pass the federal DISCLOSE Act to officially eliminate the loophole allowing 501(c)4s to spend money on elections without disclosing their donors, and bring another court challenge to Citizens United.
- On abortion:
- Bullock is pro-choice and holds a 100% rating from NARAL, a group that advocates for abortion access.
- On LGBTQ rights:
- As governor, Bullock has enacted executive orders extending civil rights and anti-discrimination protections to LGBTQ Montanans who work for the state or for companies with state contracts.
- On education:
- On guns:
- Bullock has drastically changed his tune on gun control since 2016, when he opposed universal background checks and pledged to expand gun rights during his gubernatorial re-election campaign.
- In a 2018 interview with CNN’s Jake Tapper, Bullock said he supports universal background checks, “red flag” laws which allow law enforcement to temporarily remove guns from people they determine to be a credible threat, and banning high-capacity magazines and semi-automatic weapons.
- During the July Democratic primary debate, he called for gun violence to be seen as a public health issue and railed against the efforts of outside groups to influence the debate on gun control, pointing to Montana’s success reining in corporate spending. “Even we stopped the Koch brothers from spending at that time. If we can kick the Koch brothers out of Montana, we can do it in DC, we can do it everywhere.”
- On criminal justice reform:
- In 2017, Bullock signed a number of bills expanding risk-assessment practices and early intervention programs in Montana’s Department of Corrections with the goal of reducing Montana’s prison population and recidivism rates.
- Bullock has been criticized by civil rights groups, however, for extending Montana’s multimillion-dollar contract with private prison corporation CoreCivic, which has recently come under scrutiny for high rates of violence and substandard conditions in facilities they manage.
- On trade:
- In 2018, Bullock strongly criticized the Trump administration’s trade war with China, denouncing the tariffs as hurting Montana farmers and “not really looking forward” in an interview with the Bozeman Daily Chronicle.
- On foreign policy:
- Other than opposing US trade policy towards China, Bullock hasn’t yet elaborated on his views on other foreign policy issues.
- On jobs and the economy:
- On technology:
- After the Federal Communications Commission revoked federal net neutrality, which required Internet service providers to provide the same speed and quality of service for all websites, Bullock signed an executive order requiring ISPs operating in Montana to comply with net neutrality guidelines.
- “The free and open exchange of information secured by an Internet has never been more essential to our modern, social, commercial and civic life,” he told NPR.
What are Steve Bullock’s political successes?
- One of Bullock’s biggest political feats was being re-elected statewide by four percentage points in 2016 despite Trump carrying the state by 20 points, and then-Republican House Representative Ryan Zinke being re-elected to Montana’s at-large district by 16 points.
- Under Bullock’s leadership, Montana has implemented some of the strictest campaign finance regulations in the country.
- Bullock also cites his working across the aisle to pass progressive policies like expanding Medicaid as one of his biggest strengths and accomplishments.
How much money has Steve Bullock raised?
According to a quarterly fundraising report filed with the Federal Election Commission on July 15, Bullock has raised $2.1 million since launching his campaign on May 5 and having reported $1.5 million cash on hand.
Could Steve Bullock beat President Trump?
Bullock is a more recent addition to our surveys and at this time has an insufficient sample size to draw conclusions with.
How do Democratic voters feel about Steve Bullock’s qualifications?
INSIDER has conducted polling about how voters feel about candidate attributes or qualifications. We asked respondents about a list of possible qualifications and if they made them more likely or less likely to vote for a candidate for president.
For example, among respondents who said they’d vote in the Democratic primary, 19% said a candidate being a college professor made them likelier to support them, while 4% said it made them less likely to, for a +15% net favorability. We can then see how different candidates’ resumes stack up compared to those preferences.
Attributes perceived as most valuable include his released tax returns (+43%), position as a Governor (+40%), that he grew up middle class (+36%), was a college professor (+15%), an attorney general (+13%), has an Ivy league education (+7%) and was a lawyer (+3%).
Read more stories on Steve Bullock:
- Montana Governor Steve Bullock just became the 22nd Democratic candidate to run for president
- Montana is taking on ‘dark money’ with a new lawsuit against the Trump administration and the Koch brothers
- Red state governors warn that the GOP healthcare bill would devastate their constituents
- Montana governor: It’s ‘unsettling on many levels’ that candidate for GOP House seat lied about assaulting reporter