The Senate Leadership Fund (SLF), a Republican super PAC, said on Wednesday that Sen. Jon Tester (D-MT) “lost the ace up his sleeve” after Libertarian candidate Rick Breckenridge endorsed Republican candidate Matt Rosendale for U.S. Senate.
On Wednesday, Libertarian Montana Senate candidate Rick Breckenridge endorsed Montana state auditor and Senate Republican candidate Matt Rosendale, charging that he would serve as a “front man in the cause of liberty.”
SLF spokesman Matt Gruda contended in a statement on Wednesday that Tester has relied on third-party candidates to spoil the election in his favor to get elected to get Congress.
“This is bad news for Jon Tester, who has consistently relied on third party candidates to win his previous Senate races due to his inability to ever break the 50 percent mark,” Gruda said.
It won’t be any easier this cycle given Tester’s strident opposition to President Trump in a state Trump won by over 20 points. Tester has repeatedly opposed the President’s agenda, including on government shutdowns, Supreme Court nominees, repealing Obamacare, tax cuts, and his smear campaign against President Trump’s VA nominee Ronnie Jackson.
“Jon Tester just lost the ace up his sleeve that has enabled him to repeatedly stumble into the U.S. Senate,” Gruda concluded in his statement. “This is now a choice between a Democrat obstructionist in Jon Tester or Matt Rosendale, who will fight to advance the Trump agenda.”
Breckenridge’s endorsement of Rosendale could move voters away from his candidacy toward the Republican candidate as Rosendale continues to climb in the polls.
Breckenridge will remain on the Montana ballot on November 6, but he encourages voters to back Rosendale.
Rosendale’s candidacy has surged in the final weeks of the Montana Senate race as the Democrat’s lead has slipped to a statistical tie. A Gravis Marketing poll released on Tuesday found that Tester only leads by three points, and given that the survey has a 3.5 margin of error, the race has become a virtual tie between the incumbent Democrat and the insurgent conservative.
Rosendale thanked Breckenridge’s endorsement of him in a statement on Wednesday, charging that all of those who cherish liberty need to work together to defeat Tester.
“I am honored to have the endorsement of Rick Breckenridge. I share his concerns with veterans issues and access to health care, and the need to limit the role of government in our lives,” Rosendale said.
“Rick is one of the most honest and principled men I’ve come to know, and I appreciate the Republican and Libertarian Parties unifying in Montana to defeat Jon Tester this November,” Rosendale added.