Montana’s elections are turning out to be a net-toss-up. On one hand, Senator Jon Tester holds an easy lead over his GOP opponent, Matt Rosendale. Tester is polling six points ahead of Rosendale, and his margin in recent polls has been slim and closely-watched.
But on the other hand, Rosendale’s support has surged. When the race was a toss-up two months ago, he was polling six points behind Tester. Now he’s seven points ahead, according to the latest polling from the Clarus Research Group and Republican firm Crossroads Strategies.
In this contest, as in many others this cycle, the party that controls the White House is proving to matter. President Trump carried Montana by 20 points in 2016. Rosendale led Tester by 14 points during the same period last year, and was leading by three points in August 2018.
In addition, some independent surveys show Rosendale ahead by five or six points.
On the same side of the aisle, Bill Cassidy remains a significant underdog against his Democratic challenger, Kristin Jacobs. Two polls released this week show Cassidy leading Jacobs by one point, and one shows him leading by seven points.
Moderately positive economic news in September and improved polling in the early stages of October has brought both Cassidy and Jacobs much closer to each other, but the margins between the two candidates have fluctuated erratically.