Montana Sen. Jon Tester (D) led by 4 points in his bid for re-election with two-thirds of precincts fully reporting early Wednesday morning, but enough votes remained outstanding that the race was too close to call.
Tester led with 49 percent, while his Republican challenger, Rep. Denny Rehberg, had 45 percent. Libertarian candidate Dan Cox appeared to be giving Tester a significant boost by taking more than 6 percent of the vote. Full story
The Republican-affiliated sister groups American Crossroads and Crossroads GPS will begin a massive $10.5 million Senate ad blitz today and Wednesday, blanketing competitive Senate races, including those in Maine, Montana and New Mexico, with hard-hitting attack ads.
Sen. Jon Tester (above) is in a tossup race with Rep. Denny Rehberg. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)
The Montana Senate race is expected to be among the closest in the country, and both parties are looking for any edge possible.
Democrats hope to gain some traction with the release of an investigative report into the 2009 boat crash that injured Rep. Denny Rehberg (R), who is now challenging Sen. Jon Tester (D).
A district judge on Wednesday issued an order for the records to be released as early as today, as soon as the court’s clerk redacts the personal information of others involved in the crash. Former state Sen. Greg Barkus was convicted of criminal endangerment for driving the boat after a night of drinking, which ended with a crash on the shores of Flathead Lake that left all five on board injured. Full story
Another day, another bunch of negative ads. Here is what cut through the clutter today.
This ad from a group called “America Shining” uses old B-movie footage against Rep. Ed Royce (R) and in support of Navy veteran Jay Chen (D). It may look like it was made by a film student, but it’ll catch your eye. We were unable to track down contact info for the group behind the ad. But the latest Federal Election Commission postings show that the organization has purchased about $5,000 of television time. This Orange County district is solid GOP territory, and as part of the Los Angeles media market, it’s expensive to advertise in.
Sen. Jon Tester’s (D) new TV ad, running statewide behind a $125,000 buy, features a retired firefighter disparaging Rep. Denny Rehberg (R) for suing the city of Billings over a fire on his property. The Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee hit Rehberg on the same topic in its own ad released today.
Sen. Jon Tester’s longtime family friend happens to be Jeff Ament, bassist for Pearl Jam, who played their lone nonfestival show of the year Sunday in Missoula to benefit the Democrat’s re-election campaign.
According to the Missoulian newspaper, Tester and Ament rallied hundreds on the University of Montana campus in the afternoon before attending a pre-show fundraising reception. The band also performed on Tester’s behalf in 2005 during his successful challenge to Republican incumbent Conrad Burns.
The Tester campaign released a picture of the Senator with the band and a succinct statement from the Senator: “Rock on. And go vote.”
The Pearl Jam show came two days after GOP Rep. Denny Rehberg’s campaign released a blistering television ad against Tester. The ad paints a picture of Tester not living up to the promises he made during the 2006 campaign, specifically tying Tester to forthcoming environmental regulations that forced the mothballing of a coal-fired power plant in Billings.
Meanwhile, the League of Conservation Voters on Friday released a Global Strategy Group poll that found Tester ahead with 44 percent, Rehberg with 42 percent and Libertarian Dan Cox with 7 percent. The poll was conducted Sept. 23-25 of 606 likely voters with a 4-point margin of error.
WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. — The juggernaut GOP-affiliated group Crossroads GPS began airing a new ad here in Florida today knocking two-term Sen. Bill Nelson (D) for his vote in favor of Obama’s signature health care law.
“Florida seniors are facing a health care crisis: only 14 physicians to every 1,000 Medicare beneficiaries,” a female narrator says. “But in Washington, Bill Nelson’s been voting for the new health care law, which cuts Medicare spending by $700 billion; puts unelected bureaucrats between Florida’s 3 million Medicare recipients and the care they need, hurting Florida seniors.”
“Tell Senator Nelson, it’s time to repeal,” she says.
The ad is backed by a $2.4 million buy on broadcast and cable TV in Florida. It’s part of the group’s wider push of spots, launched today against Democratic Senate candidates, that also includes ads in Montana, New Mexico and Ohio.
See the Montana ad, hitting Sen. Jon Tester (D) here:
See the New Mexico ad, dinging Rep. Martin Heinrich, the Democratic nominee for Senate, here:
See the Ohio ad knocking Sen. Sherrod Brown (D) here:
The Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee today launched its second TV ad in Montana, where Sen. Jon Tester (D) is fending off a challenge from Rep. Denny Rehberg (R) in what is expected to be one of the closest races in the country. Full story
Sen. Scott Brown (above) called on Rep. Todd Akin to relinquish his Senate nomination after his controversial remarks about rape. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)
On day two of the media firestorm around Rep. Todd Akin’s (R-Mo.) comments about rape, the Republican Senate nominee is discovering that his harshest critics are not Democrats, but members of his own party.
Sen. Claire McCaskill (D) was restrained in her criticism of her opponent this morning on MSNBC’s “Morning Joe.” The incident has breathed new life into her campaign for re-election.
Instead, it is Republicans in tough fall races who are piling on:
The U.S. Chamber of Commerce has hit the airwaves in Florida, Montana, New Mexico, Ohio and Wisconsin with television ads targeting Democratic Senate candidates.
The chamber is also targeting independent Senate candidate former Gov. Angus King in Maine. The ads criticize the candidates on a range of issues, including support for the Affordable Care Act, proposals to increase taxes and votes on energy issues.
“With so much at stake in this election, the Chamber will continue to execute the largest voter education campaign in our history,” chamber President and CEO Thomas Donohue said in a statement. “We will support candidates who will fight for free enterprise and oppose those who consistently support more government and stand in the way of economic growth and job creation.”
Independent expenditure reports filed with the Federal Election Commission show that the chamber spent more than $5.3 million on ad buys and production costs for the series of spots. The group typically spends heavily to defeat Democratic candidates.
The chamber vowed to continue its efforts into the coming months in a press release. Full story
The Senate campaign of Rep. Denny Rehberg (R) is running another ad responding to a spot launched a couple of weeks ago by Sen. Jon Tester (D) that charged the Congressman with voting against cancer funding.
“Newspapers across Montana say Jon Tester’s attack on Denny Rehberg is not true,” the ad’s announcer says.
This is Rehberg’s second ad in two weeks since Tester launched an ad on July 11 that featured a cancer survivor and charged that Rehberg supported a 2011 appropriations bill that reduced funding for breast cancer screenings. Rehberg responded last week with an ad featuring his mother, a cancer survivor.
The Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee outraised its Republican counterpart by $3.5 million in June, according to statements from the committees.
The DSCC raised $8 million last month, ending June with $31.4 million in cash on hand. The National Republican Senatorial Committee raised $4.5 million and had $24.3 million in cash on hand. The committees’ monthly reports were due to the Federal Election Commission today. Full story
Rep. Denny Rehberg launched an ad featuring his mother, a cancer survivor. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)
Montana Rep. Denny Rehberg today responded to his opponent’s ad that rebuked his voting record on funding for cancer screenings with an ad of his own that features a cancer survivor very close to him — his mother.
The Republican is challenging Democratic Sen. Jon Tester in a race expected to be close until November. It’s also likely to get negative, highlighted most recently by the Tester ad. It featured a cancer survivor discussing how the cuts in an appropriations bill Rehberg supported could have affected her recovery. Full story
Sen. Jon Tester is launching an ad today criticizing his Republican challenger, a change from the mostly positive ads the campaign has aired to date.
The Democrat’s ad targets Rep. Denny Rehberg’s House-floor voting record, charging that he supported a 2011 appropriations bill that reduced funding for breast cancer screenings. It features Lisa Jones, a cancer survivor, discussing how the cuts could have affected her recovery. Full story
VoteVets Action Fund is spending $200,000 to air an attack ad against the Republican Senate nominee in Montana and to continue an ad buy on behalf of a Democratic House candidate in Hawaii.
VoteVets, a progressive veterans organization, announced a $100,000 ad buy for a television spot slamming Montana Rep. Denny Rehberg, who is challenging Sen. Jon Tester (D) in one of the most competitive Senate races in the country. The dark ad in Montana takes a critical look at Rehberg’s voting record on veterans issues.