first_img Country * Afghanistan Aland Islands Albania Algeria Andorra Angola Anguilla Antarctica Antigua and Barbuda Argentina Armenia Aruba Australia Austria Azerbaijan Bahamas Bahrain Bangladesh Barbados Belarus Belgium Belize Benin Bermuda Bhutan Bolivia, Plurinational State of Bonaire, Sint Eustatius and Saba Bosnia and Herzegovina Botswana Bouvet Island Brazil British Indian Ocean Territory Brunei Darussalam Bulgaria Burkina Faso Burundi Cambodia Cameroon Canada Cape Verde Cayman Islands Central African Republic Chad Chile China Christmas Island Cocos (Keeling) Islands Colombia Comoros Congo Congo, the Democratic Republic of the Cook Islands Costa Rica Cote d’Ivoire Croatia Cuba Curaçao Cyprus Czech Republic Denmark Djibouti Dominica Dominican Republic Ecuador Egypt El Salvador Equatorial Guinea Eritrea Estonia Ethiopia Falkland Islands (Malvinas) Faroe Islands Fiji Finland France French Guiana French Polynesia French Southern Territories Gabon Gambia Georgia Germany Ghana Gibraltar Greece Greenland Grenada Guadeloupe Guatemala Guernsey Guinea Guinea-Bissau Guyana Haiti Heard Island and McDonald Islands Holy See (Vatican City State) Honduras Hungary Iceland India Indonesia Iran, Islamic Republic of Iraq Ireland Isle of Man Israel Italy Jamaica Japan Jersey Jordan Kazakhstan Kenya Kiribati Korea, Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, Republic of Kuwait Kyrgyzstan Lao People’s Democratic Republic Latvia Lebanon Lesotho Liberia Libyan Arab Jamahiriya Liechtenstein Lithuania Luxembourg Macao Macedonia, the former Yugoslav Republic of Madagascar Malawi Malaysia Maldives Mali Malta Martinique Mauritania Mauritius Mayotte Mexico Moldova, Republic of Monaco Mongolia Montenegro Montserrat Morocco Mozambique Myanmar Namibia Nauru Nepal Netherlands New Caledonia New Zealand Nicaragua Niger Nigeria Niue Norfolk Island Norway Oman Pakistan Palestine Panama Papua New Guinea Paraguay Peru Philippines Pitcairn Poland Portugal Qatar Reunion Romania Russian Federation Rwanda Saint Barthélemy Saint Helena, Ascension and Tristan da Cunha Saint Kitts and Nevis Saint Lucia Saint Martin (French part) Saint Pierre and Miquelon Saint Vincent and the Grenadines Samoa San Marino Sao Tome and Principe Saudi Arabia Senegal Serbia Seychelles Sierra Leone Singapore Sint Maarten (Dutch part) Slovakia Slovenia Solomon Islands Somalia South Africa South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands South Sudan Spain Sri Lanka Sudan Suriname Svalbard and Jan Mayen Swaziland Sweden Switzerland Syrian Arab Republic Taiwan Tajikistan Tanzania, United Republic of Thailand Timor-Leste Togo Tokelau Tonga Trinidad and Tobago Tunisia Turkey Turkmenistan Turks and Caicos Islands Tuvalu Uganda Ukraine United Arab Emirates United Kingdom United States Uruguay Uzbekistan Vanuatu Venezuela, Bolivarian Republic of Vietnam Virgin Islands, British Wallis and Futuna Western Sahara Yemen Zambia Zimbabwe “If I can do it, anybody can.”That’s Amanda Curtis, the 35-year-old Montana high school math teacher, speaking about her last-minute, low-budget campaign to be elected to the U.S. Senate. Curtis fell short, losing to Steve Daines, a Republican who in 2012 was elected to the state’s sole seat in the U.S. House of Representatives. But her 18-point margin of defeat was no worse than what befell several fellow Democrats, many of them veteran politicians, who spent tens of millions of dollars more than Curtis in their failed quest to keep their party in control of the Senate.Curtis stumbled into the Democratic nomination in August when the expected candidate, Senator John Walsh, resigned after reports he had committed academic plagiarism. She entered the campaign with a mere 88 days of experience as an elected official. But she made the most of that short stint as a state representative in 2013, posting on YouTube a frank assessment of each day’s session. The videos earned her a reputation as a straight-talking citizen called to public service. Sign up for our daily newsletter Get more great content like this delivered right to you! Country Emailcenter_img Click to view the privacy policy. Required fields are indicated by an asterisk (*) Curtis took that attitude onto the campaign trail, logging 11,000 miles crisscrossing the vast, rural state. But her limited coffers—she raised $980,000 compared with more than $7 million by her opponent—put her at a distinct disadvantage in countering claims that she favored strict gun control laws and that her views on the economy made her a communist. She could afford to run only two television ads, for example, and national Democratic leaders spent no money on her campaign after concluding that she had no chance of winning.Now back in the classroom at Butte High School, Curtis faults herself for letting her opponents define her on those and other issues. “I was told not to spend my time defending myself against what I considered to be ridiculous and false accusations,” she tells ScienceInsider. “But that was a big mistake. We can’t let them to tell our story. If I had to do it again, I would tell my own narrative about guns, and make sure that the voters were hearing directly from me.”She says her campaign demonstrates that “an average Joe can do just as well as a professional politician.” And she thinks that her fellow Democrats, including President Barack Obama, might have prevented last week’s debacle if they had done a better job of telling voters what they stood for.“I think that this country is better off because of the policies of the Obama administration. But we never talked about it. Democrats should have been touting that record of accomplishment rather than avoiding it.”Curtis says she’s happy to be back in the classroom, “doing something that I love to do.” And she isn’t eager to hit the campaign trail any time soon.“I’m not making any plans,” she says about her prospects for 2016. “Somebody would really have to twist my arm. It’s not on my shoulders anymore.”Even so, she thinks her campaign does provide other political novices with a useful road map. “I’ve shown that anybody can participate in this game,” she says. “So I hope others will consider it.”last_img

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