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29 September 2012

Is growing antipathy toward GOP policies helping Jon Tester?

It certainly seems possible. A Global Strategies poll conducted 23–25 September for the League of Conservation Voters, and released on 27 September, reported that Jon Tester led Denny Rehberg 44 to 42 percent, with seven percent favoring Libertarian Dan Cox and seven percent undecided. The margin of error is four percent, and the probability that Tester is leading is 69 percent. There is an ongoing discussion of this poll at Intelligent Discontent.

I’ve added the data points to the plots in my 25 September post on Tester and the polls.

Three polls have probed Montana’s senate race since the national Republican and Democratic Conventions. The average of those polls, displayed below, suggests the contest is, for practical purposes, now a dead heat, with thousands of voters still undecided, and what I think is an astonishingly high number of voters choosing the Libertarian candidate.

Because many Cox supporters probably will break for Rehberg if they think he needs their help — from the Libertarian perspective, a Republican is preferable to a Democrat — Rehberg probably has more latent support than Tester.

Still, the growing national aversion to the pro-rich, anti-regular folks, reactionary policies of the Republican Party, which I think accounts for much of the increase support for a second term for President Obama, probably is helping Tester close the gap with Rehberg.

Tester’s biggest problem now may be early voting, which could deprive him of the opportunity to persuade voters to choose him.