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Poll: Matt Rosendale Leads Jon Tester in Montana Senate Race

Collage of Jon Tester and Matt Rosendale
AP/Getty

Montana state auditor Matt Rosendale leads Sen. Jon Tester (D-MT) in the race for the U.S. Senate seat in Montana, according to a poll released Monday.

Rosendale leads Tester, 47 to 45 percent, in a recent poll conducted by WPA Intelligence for the National Republican Senatorial Committee (NRSC). Five percent of Montana voters remain undecided, and the race has a four-point margin of error. The survey questioned 600 likely Montana voters from August 20 through 22.

Rosendale won the Montana Senate Republican primary in June, while Sen. Tester hopes to secure his third term in the Senate this November.

Both Rosendale and Tester had similar favorability ratings. Forty-four percent of Montana voters had a favorable impression of the state’s auditor, while 46 percent had a negative view of Rosendale. Forty-nine percent have a favorable opinion of Tester, compared to the 46 percent who had an unfavorable view of the two-term senator.

Tester faces an increasingly competitive race against Rosendale, as President Donald Trump won Montana by 20 points in 2016. Fifty-four percent of Montanans approved of the job the president is doing, while only 44 disapproved of Trump’s job performance.

WPA Intelligence surveyed Montana voters after Sen. Tester’s campaign became engulfed in controversy in August after a Pearl Jam poster for a get-out-the-vote campaign promoting Tester featured a dead Donald Trump and an American bald eagle eating the remains of his corpse. Tester is close friends with Pearl Jam bassist Jeff Ament, who designed the poster.

Tester’s campaign, not Tester himself, disavowed the concert flyer only after the media shed light on the inflammatory poster. Three weeks after the poster was revealed to the public, Tester has yet to personally disavow it.

Rosendale told Breitbart News Tonight in a recent interview that he found it “very disturbing” that Tester has not personally condemned the controversial Pearl Jam poster.

Calvin Moore, an NRSC spokesman, said last week that Sen. Tester “showed his true colors by refusing” to condemn the poster and suggested that if the Montana senator will not do the right thing, Montanans should–by voting him out of office this November.

The NRSC also released an ad last week highlighting that Tester has not condemned the Pearl Jam flyer and that his campaign even raised money off of the rock band’s concert:

Moore said in a statement last week, “Senator Tester showed his true colors by refusing to personally condemn even the most unhinged, far-left fringes of his party who’ve gone so low as to call for outright violence against the President of the United States.”

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