Speed Reads

So no endorsement, then?

Montana newspapers call on Democratic Sen. John Walsh to drop out of Senate race over plagiarism scandal

Things aren't going so well for Sen. John Walsh (D) back home in Montana, after it was reported two weeks ago that his 2007 master's thesis at the Army War College was extensively plagiarized from other sources. In the latest development, the state's two biggest newspapers both published editorials on Sunday calling upon Walsh to drop out of the Senate race.

The state's largest paper, the Billings Gazette, wrote, "Having repeatedly said that he wants to do the honorable thing, Walsh should stop campaigning and do his utmost to serve Montanans well in the remainder of his brief Senate appointment. That is the honorable course." The paper acknowledged that this would all but cost Democrats the race, since "there is no replacement candidate who could jump in and run a competitive campaign in the little time left before voting starts."

The second-biggest paper, the Missoulian, disagreed with that dire assessment, but warned that Walsh and Democrats would have to act soon: "He has until Aug. 11 to do so and get his name removed from the ballot, which would allow the Montana Democratic Party to name a replacement candidate by Aug. 20 — just in time to make sure that candidate’s name appears on the ballot."

Walsh was appointed to the Senate earlier this year, after having served as the state's lieutenant governor. However, the state's sole U.S. House member, Republican Rep. Steve Daines, has been widely favored to win the election this November.