This article appeared online at TheNewAmerican.com on Thursday, February 23, 2023:
Montana’s senior senator, Jon Tester, the only Democrat to hold elective office in that ruby-red state, announced on Wednesday his intention to run for a fourth term:
I am running for re-election so I can keep fighting for Montanans and demand that Washington stand up for our veterans and lower costs.
Montanans need a fighter holding Washington accountable and I’m running to defend our Montana values.
Tester is a primary GOP target in the 2024 general election, and he knows it. His previous election victories were decided by low single digits, and as more Montanans become aware of his real voting record, the contest next year will likely return the Democrat to his Montana ranch.
Before looking at his voting record, it’s helpful to view the general electoral landscape in Big Sky Country. In a state that Donald Trump won over Joe Biden by 16 points in 2020, just 32 percent of registered voters currently approve of Biden’s job performance, compared to 62 percent who disapprove.
Democrats will be defending 23 Senate seats in the upcoming general election, compared to just 11 by Republicans. And just one Democrat-to-Republican flip would return control of the Senate back to Republicans (assuming a Republican wins the White House).
Tester is rough-hewn, known for his often vulgar, expletive-laden language. The population of Montana has grown considerably over the years, however, especially following the Covid pandemic, forcing Tester to woo many new voters coming from more-sedate communities.
The senator managed to offend then-President Trump when he torpedoed Trump’s pick to head up the Veterans Affairs Department. He added to that offense by declaring that the January 6 incident was instigated by Trump, calling it a “despicable and dangerous attack on our democracy [sic]” and “a coup for domestic terrorists.”
Now to his voting record. Tester played a key role in passing the Senate’s pork-laden “infrastructure” bill. He voted for Obamacare and the odious and anti-capitalist Dodd-Frank financial services overhaul legislation.
During his first two campaigns Tester held to the traditional marriage position, but then praised the Supreme Court’s audacious ruling in Obergefell v. Hodges for protecting “the rights and freedoms of every married couple,” including men who want to marry other men, and vice versa.
He went on to compound his flagrant rejection of traditional marriage by voting for the misnamed Respect for Marriage Act, which repealed the Defense of [traditional] Marriage Act that was passed in 1996.
He is pro-abortion and supports embryonic stem-cell research, which kills embryos that are three to five days old, raising significant moral and religious issues for those who hold that life begins at conception.
He has consistently voted for liberal justices to the Supreme Court (i.e., Sonia Sotomayor, Elena Kagan, and Ketanji Brown Jackson), while voting consistently against conservatives (i.e., Neil Gorsuch, Brett Kavanaugh, and Amy Coney Barrett).
His Freedom Index (FI) rating from The John Birch Society reveals his low regard for the United States Constitution and his own oath to support and defend it: he has a dismal lifetime rating of just 21 out of a possible 100 in his three terms as senator.
His challenger is likely to be Montana’s Representative Matt Rosendale (Freedom Index of 100), who lost a razor’s edge contest to Tester in 2018. Rosendale is one of those Republican House member “holdouts” who held California’s Rep. Kevin McCarthy’s feet to the fire during his campaign for speaker of the House.
Tester is one of three incumbent senators likely to lose in 2024, according to political handicapper Sabato’s Crystal Ball at the University of Virginia’s Center for Politics. The other two in jeopardy are Joe Manchin of West Virginia (FI rating of 27) and Sherrod Brown of Ohio (FI rating of 20).