Larry Sabato with The University of Virginia Center for Politics calls Montana’s US Senate race a toss-up, while saying the governor’s race leans Republican.
Kyle Kondik writes this for “Sabato’s Crystal Ball:”
Finally, in Montana, ex-Rep. Rick Hill (R) advanced from a crowded Republican field to face Attorney General Steve Bullock (D) in the state’s competitive gubernatorial race (popular Democratic incumbent Brian Schweitzer is term-limited). Hill is the slight favorite, if only because of Mitt Romney’s presidential coattails, but this should be a competitive contest.
What about the US Senate race? In the same link provided above, Sabato calls the US Senate race between Sen. Jon Tester (D-MT) and Congressman Denny Rehberg (D-MT) a “toss up.”
The Daily Beast, a liberal blog, has this, saying campaigns like Tester’s will have to avoid appearances with President Obama and instead focus on “microtargeting” to draw out their base:
Tester, a prominent Obama ally in 2008 as the president made a serious play for the Big Sky State (ultimately losing by a few percentage points), is being pummeled on the airwaves for his association with the president.
“The only picture you’ll see this year of Jon Tester and Barack Obama is one paid for by the Republicans,” said Craig Wilson, a veteran political observer in Montana.
“If the Obama staff is sane, they will not have the president step foot in Montana or Missouri this campaign season,” said Sabato. On the other hand, “If hardcore Democrats perceive that senators are distancing themselves from a president the base loves, it’s going to cost them some votes and enthusiasm—and the turnout in the base has to be sky high for them to have a chance of winning.”
Meanwhile, Karl Rove’s Crossroads GPS is up with another ad criticizing Sen. Tester. Click below to watch the latest.