Via Matt Singer, some good news for Senator Tester from Public Policy Polling headed into his re-election campaign: despite the strong Republican trend in Montana, he’s still seen quite favorably by Montana voters:
Tester posts a 50-40 job performance mark, putting him in the top ten among the senators PPP has measured this year. That is particularly impressive, considering that Republicans outnumber Democrats by nine points in this sample, and even independents are more prevalent.
In a hypothetical matchup with Denny Rehberg, Tester is close, at 46-48, and he has a lead over Steve Daines at 48-37.
Daines supporters will probably try to spin this as positive news, but I find it hard to believe that Montana voters will come to like Daines more as they learn more about him, no matter how many campaign laws he breaks in the process of becoming acquainted with them.
Senator Tester’s going to face a tough challenge in 2012 and he’s occasionally disappointed some of us on the left, but it’s encouraging that he seems largely to have escaped the displeasure directed at Senator Baucus by maintaining pretty close adherence to the values that got him elected in the first place.
As a side note, the continuing popularity of Marc Racicot has to be encouraging for Governor Schweitzer’s future aspirations, given that Schweitzer has actually been an effective leader of the state.