Montana state auditor Matt Rosendale told Breitbart News in an exclusive statement on Friday that given Sen. Jon Tester’s (D-MT) falling polling numbers, “Montanans are ready for a change.”
Over the past few months, Sen. Tester’s lead in the Montana race has dwindled to just to a few points. In June, Tester had an eight-point advantage, and now multiple polls have Tester only leading by two points. One survey in August had Rosendale beating Tester.
One poll commissioned by the National Republican Senatorial Committee (NRSC) found that Rosendale and Tester are tied at 44 percent each, with eight percent of voters undecided, and the survey well within the poll’s 4.47 percent margin of error.
Rosendale told Breitbart News that the current polling shows that “Montanans are ready for a change” and that the Montana Democrat is not the same populist he once claimed to be.
“Montanans are ready for a change, and that’s exactly what these numbers are showing. Folks are seeing that Jon Tester is not the same man he once was,” Rosendale said. “Case in point, he’s the #1 recipient of lobbyist cash out of all 535 members of Congress.”
Sen. Tester became one of the top recipients of lobbyist cash during the 2018 election, according to recent data from the Open Secrets database.
Rosendale continued, “The people of Montana want to send President Trump the reinforcements he needs to continue his good work, and that’s why we’re seeing incredibly strong momentum and support for our campaign across the state. I’ll support President Trump and always put Montana First – and Jon Tester won’t.”
The Cook Political Report downgraded Tester’s re-election chances from “likely Democrat” to “lean Democrat.”
— CookPoliticalReport (@CookPolitical) September 21, 2018
Brenda Gianiny, a polling expert at Axis Research, wrote in a memo for the NRSC that attack ads are beginning to wither down the Montana Democrat’s popularity in the state.
“These shifting attitudes towards Senator Tester are impacting his standing on the ballot,” Gianiny wrote.
Tester’s re-election has become increasingly competitive, especially in a state that Donald Trump won during the 2016 presidential election by 20 points.
A Fox News report this week revealed that Sen. Tester has campaigned as an advocate of hunting – even though he has not had a hunting license in six years, the last time he was up for re-election. In contrast to Sen. Tester, Rosendale has had a hunting license every year since 2002.
Rosendale’s advocacy for gun rights has earned him the endorsement of the National Rifle Association (NRA). NRA Institute for Legislative Action (NRA-ILA) said that Rosendale is an “ardent supporter” of gun rights and received an “A” rating from the NRA on the organization’s key issues.
The NRA’s endorsement of Rosendale became especially significant because the organization declined to endorse either Sen. Tester or Republican Denny Rehberg in the 2012 Montana Senate race.
Rosendale released a new ad campaign ad last week in which President Donald Trump slams Sen. Jon Tester for being one of the top recipients of lobbyist cash during the 2018 election cycle.
Trump said that Tester “will never drain the swamp because he loves the swamp.”