Montana: Senate Race of Rehberg, Tester Still a Toss-Up

State   |   Andrew Bair   |   Nov 10, 2011   |   4:06PM   |   Helena, MT

Montana is poised to be one of the key battlegrounds in the fight for Senate control in 2012. Incumbent Senator Jon Tester holds one of the lowest popularity ratings of any of the Senate Democrats up for reelection in 2012.

Adding to Tester’s woes, he will have to appear on the ballot with President Obama. Montana voters have swiftly turned away from the President in recent months. In a recent Montana State University Billings poll, 57.5% of Montana voters disapproved of President Obama’s job performance. Only 31% approved and 10.5% remained undecided.

In the same poll, when asked about the Montana Senate race, 36 percent of Montanans said they would vote for the Republican and 36 percent for the Democratic candidate. About 25 percent remained undecided.

Montana’s at-large Republican Congressman Denny Rehberg has announced a bid to challenge Tester. Rehberg, whose district covers the entirety of the state, enjoys high name recognition, giving him a clear advantage in the race for the Republican nomination. Despite widespread disdain for Congress as a whole, Rehberg remains popular with Montana voters. His own popularity surpasses that of Tester.

Rehberg boasts a 100% rating from the National Right to Life Committee. Some of his key pro-life accomplishments include voting for the ban on partial-birth abortion, the Unborn Victims of Violence Act, the No Taxpayer Funding for Abortion Act and to de-fund Planned Parenthood.

In a clear contrast to Senator Tester, Rehberg has consistently opposed Obamacare. Rehberg voted against the health care law, which contains rationing concerns and massive abortion funding. Rehberg voted earlier this year to repeal the law and he voted for a bill to block its funding. Just weeks ago, Rehberg voted in favor of the Protect Life Act, a bill which aims to ban abortion funding under the new healthcare law

Planned Parenthood Action Fund has initiated a new website labeling elected officials either “Champs” or “Chumps” based on their support for Planned Parenthood’s pro-abortion agenda. Not surprisingly, Senator Tester is ranked as a Planned Parenthood “Champ” while Congressman Rehberg is ranked as a “Chump.” Rehberg should wear that as a badge of honor!

With the pro-abortion majority in the Senate thwarting pro-life efforts, defeating Senator Tester will be a crucial step forward in passing pro-life legislation.