Destination 270

SMU Students Analyze the 2012 Presidential Election

Tester Tops Rehberg in Montana Senate Race

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Democrats retained a key seat in the Senate with incumbent Jon Tester winning the seat over Denny Rehberg. The race remained close to the end as previous polls indicated.

Throughout the campaign, Rehberg’s strategy was to tie Tester to President Obama’s policies as much as possible, while Tester promoted himself as a man of the people.

As a testament to the divisiveness of the battle for this Senate seat, the vote was split nearly down the middle according to Reuters,”Jon Tester, who had been considered one of the Democrats’ most vulnerable senators in Tuesday’s election and a key takeover target for Republicans in Montana, defeated Representative Denny Rehberg by a 48.8 percent to 44.7 percent margin.”

This is the second failed campaign that Rehberg has run, his first defeat was in 1996 when he lost to Democrat Max Baucus.

The SeattlePost-Intelligencer reports this as the first loss since 1996 for Rehberg, “U.S. Sen. Jon Tester prevailed Wednesday in a tight re-election battle, beating back nearly two years of attacks for his support of some Obama administration policies to hand Republican U.S. Rep. Denny Rehberg his first election loss since 1996.

The landscape of Montana went in Tester’s favor as he gained momentum in rural areas,”Tester did better in urban areas like Butte than he did in 2006, and he closed the gap in many rural areas. Unlike six years ago, he carried his very rural home of Choteau County. He also fared well in Rehberg’s home county of Yellowstone, where the Tester campaign attacked Rehberg for filing a lawsuit against the Billings city fire department over its handling of a wildfire on his property.”

This win for Tester helped Democrats maintain influence in Montana and keep control of the U.S. Senate.



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