MT-Sen: Tester’s Popular, But Rehberg Leads by 2

Public Policy Polling (11/10-13, Montana voters):

Jon Tester (D-inc): 46

Denny Rehberg (R): 48

Jon Tester (D-inc): 48

Steve Daines (R): 37

Jon Tester (D-inc): 46

Neil Livingstone (R): 35

Jon Tester (D-inc): 42

Mark Racicot (R): 49

(MoE: ±2.9%)

It’s a bit of a mixed bag for Jon Tester. He’s leading his announced opponents — ’08 Lt. Gov. nominee Steve Daines and “crisis management” CEO Neil Livingstone — by double-digit spreads, and his job approval rating is 50/40, a spread so healthy that PPP is calling him one of the most popular Senators in the country. However, if current Rep. Denny Rehberg took the plunge, Tester would be in for a real challenge. (And an even bigger challenge if John Cornyn somehow managed to lure ex-Gov. Mark Racicot into the race, but that seems unlikely.)

Rehberg has until March 2012 to decide on the race, which buys him plenty of time to assess the situation — and given the B-grade level of Livingstone and Baines, he’d have a good shot at clearing the field, too, unless one or both of them decides to run as an out-and-proud insurgent teabagger.

70 thoughts on “MT-Sen: Tester’s Popular, But Rehberg Leads by 2”

  1. I thought he was pretty out there… Am I wrong?

    Whatever the case, it’s not the end of the world for Tester. Far from it! In fact, these numbers look much better than I had feared.

  2. Despite Tester being a split Senator (representing a state that went for the other party’s presidential candidate) and having won only barely despite a good year for his party and against a corrupt asshole, Rehberg is only leading within the margin of error.

    Could change.  Rehberg does have the benefit of party (I’m going to assume Montana goes red again in 2012) and experience, but would he give up a safe seat for a tossup?

  3. I won’t count him out because Cornyn pulled a couple of rabbits out of his hat in 2010 (Hoeven, as well as Castle and Crist, who obviously didn’t work out but were considered A-listers when Cornyn brought them in.) But is a governor who has been out of office for a decade really better than an incumbent Congressman? If I were Cornyn, I’d almost prefer Rehberg because he’s proved every 2 years he’s capable of winning the state.

  4. By 2012, The National Popular Vote bill could guarantee the Presidency to the candidate who receives the most popular votes in all 50 states (and DC).

    Every vote, everywhere, would be politically relevant and equal in presidential elections. Elections wouldn’t be about winning states. Every vote would be counted for and directly assist the candidate for whom it was cast. Candidates would need to care about voters across the nation, not just undecided voters in a handful of swing states.

    Now 2/3rds of the states and voters are ignored — 19 of the 22 smallest and medium-small states, and big states like California, Georgia, New York, and Texas.  The current winner-take-all laws (i.e., awarding all of a state’s electoral votes to the candidate who receives the most popular votes in each state) used by 48 of the 50 states, and not mentioned, much less endorsed, in the Constitution, ensure that the candidates do not reach out to all of the states and their voters. Candidates have no reason to poll, visit, advertise, organize, campaign, or care about the voter concerns in the dozens of states where they are safely ahead or hopelessly behind.  Voter turnout in the “battleground” states has been 67%, while turnout in the “spectator” states was 61%. Policies important to the citizens of ‘flyover’ states are not as highly prioritized as policies important to ‘battleground’ states when it comes to governing.

    The bill would take effect only when enacted, in identical form, by states possessing a majority of the electoral votes–‘that is, enough electoral votes to elect a President (270 of 538). When the bill comes into effect, all the electoral votes from those states would be awarded to the presidential candidate who receives the most popular votes in all 50 states (and DC).

    The bill uses the power given to each state by the Founding Fathers in the Constitution to change how they award their electoral votes for president.

    In Gallup polls since 1944, only about 20% of the public has supported the current system of awarding all of a states electoral votes to the presidential candidate who receives the most votes in each separate state (with about 70% opposed and about 10% undecided). The recent Washington Post, Kaiser Family Foundation, and Harvard University poll shows 72% support for direct nationwide election of the President. Support for a national popular vote is strong in virtually every state, partisan, and demographic group surveyed in recent polls in closely divided battleground states: Colorado – 68%, Iowa – 75%, Michigan – 73%, Missouri 70%, New Hampshire 69%, Nevada 72%, New Mexico 76%, North Carolina 74%, Ohio70%, Pennsylvania-78%, Virginia-74%, and Wisconsin-71%; in smaller states (3 to 5 electoral votes): Alaska-70%, DC-76%, Delaware-75%, Maine-77%, Nebraska-74%, New Hampshire-69%, Nevada-72%, New Mexico-76%, Rhode Island-74%, and Vermont-75%; in Southern and border states: Arkansas-80%, Kentucky-80%, Mississippi-77%, Missouri-70%, North Carolina-74%, and Virginia-74%; and in other states polled: California-70%, Connecticut-74% , Massachusetts-73%, Minnesota-75%, New York-79%, Washington77%, and West Virginia- 81%.

    The National Popular Vote bill has passed 31 state legislative chambers, in 21 small, medium-small, medium, and large states, including one house in Arkansas (6), Connecticut (7), Delaware (3), The District of Columbia (3), Maine (4), Michigan (17), Nevada (5), New Mexico (5), New York (31), North Carolina (15), and Oregon (7), and both houses in California (55), Colorado (9), Hawaii (4), Illinois (21), New Jersey (15), Maryland (10), Massachusetts (12), Rhode Island (4), Vermont (3), and Washington (11). The bill has been enacted by the District of Columbia, Hawaii, Illinois, New Jersey, Maryland, Massachusetts, and Washington. These seven states possess 76 electoral votes–‘28% of the 270 necessary to bring the law into effect.


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