If Roll Call is to be believed, Dennis Rehberg has just handed Montana Democrats the best opportunity imaginable to let Jon Tester rid the U.S. Congress of two of the worst representatives Montana has sent to Washington. Although the story relies on some terrible anonymous sourcing, it would make sense for Rehberg to announce his bid while the Tea Queen was in town, staring off to the side.
Jon Tester absolutely can win this race, and frankly, I’m surprised to see Rehberg willing to take the risk of running. Despite a historically bad year for Democrats and an energized Republican base in Montana, polling between the two was incredibly tight–and Rehberg’s penchant for gaffes and embarrassments will hurt him much more in a closely scrutinized race.
Rehberg has won exactly one close race in his life. Every other time he’s faced credible opposition, he’s lost. There’s little reason to believe he has the intellect or ability to win a tough race this time.
The real loser, though, has to be Steve Daines. It’s pretty hard to look like a decisive leader when you duck out of a race because Denny Rehberg scares you out of it. I’m not sure that the new Daines campaign sign is likely to inspire voters to look his way.