First Montana Senate poll of 2024 shows Jon Tester leading millionaire Tim Sheehy - TAI News
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This year’s marquee election in Montana could determine which party controls the U.S. Senate. While experts expect a close contest between Democratic Sen. Jon Tester and millionaire right-wing Republican challenger Tim Sheehy, the first public poll of 2024 shows the incumbent beginning with a 9-point lead.

A SurveyUSA poll of adult Montanans for the NonStop Local television network conducted in mid-February found Tester leading Sheehy 49%-40%.

The same survey found Tester with an identical lead over Republican U.S. Rep. Matt Rosendale in a hypothetical general election matchup. Rosendale announced a Senate bid on Feb. 9 but dropped out of the race just six days later, leaving Sheehy as the heavy favorite for the GOP nomination.

Members of the Democratic caucus currently hold a 51-49 majority in the Senate. The Cook Political Report rates Montana’s one of three toss-up 2024 Senate races.

Sheehy is the CEO of an aerospace business. His campaign issues page highlights his opposition to the Affordable Care Act and abortion and his desire to “end the woke social agenda infecting our schools” and restore prayer in public schools.

“I can tell you off the bat, it’s really frustrating how, you know, we have one party in this country that seems to be bent on murdering unborn children and taking that tack in a very militant way,” Sheehy said in an April 2023 radio appearance, calling himself “a very pro-life person.”

He has touted the endorsement of Susan B. Anthony Pro-Life America, which works to elect anti-abortion candidates across the country and demands its endorsees support a nationwide abortion ban at 15 weeks’ gestation.

Tester supports abortion rights, like 60% of Montanans, and has been endorsed by Reproductive Freedom for All, formerly known as NARAL Pro-Choice America. The group’s president, Mini Timmaraju, said in a December press release, ”Senator Tester has steadfastly fought to protect abortion rights and access.”

During his three terms in the Senate, Tester has secured federal infrastructure funding to fix Montana’s highways, helped to lower out-of-pocket prescription drug and insulin costs for older Americans on Medicare, and authored numerous laws helping military veterans.

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The Montana Independent is a project of American Independent Media, a 501(c)(4) organization whose mission is to use journalism to educate the public, giving them the information they need about local and federal issues.