Left-Wing Group Propping Up Libertarian Spoiler in Montana Senate Race

Leah Barkoukis

10/29/2012 11:30:00 AM - Leah Barkoukis

Montana’s Senate race between GOP Rep. Denny Rehberg and Democratic Sen. Jon Tester continues to be a toss-up with the most recent Rasmussen poll from October 14 showing the race tied at 48 percent. Now, with just eight days left to go, Leftists are “actively campaigning in support of what they hope will be a third-party ‘spoiler,’” according to an email sent out by Rehberg’s campaign manager Erik Iverson. This strategy to support the Libertarian candidate Dan Cox came into play in early October but is picking up steam as Election Day nears. From Iverson’s email:

It's the sound of panic and desperation, as — with just 9 days to go — Tester and his liberal, environmental-extremist supporters have now given up on trying to convince more Montanans to vote for Tester. Instead, they're actively campaigning in support of what they hope will be a third-party 'spoiler,' spending huge sums of money in the desperate hope they can siphon off enough conservative votes to send Tester back to Washington, where he will rubber-stamp an Obama-style left-wing agenda that erodes our freedoms and harms our country.

The Billings Gazette and other papers throughout Montana reported this weekend that a left-wing front group supportive of Tester "has spent $500,000 on a new TV ad in his Senate race — telling voters to support the Libertarian candidate, Dan Cox... The group on Friday reported spending $498,000 on TV ads, another $40,000 on web ads, and $146,000 on mailing costs, all to oppose Rehberg. The group reported receiving $410,000 from the [environmentalist] League of Conservation Voters..."

Montana has a strong Libertarian streak, according to Politico, so if Leftists are successful in persuading even just a small number of conservatives to cast their vote for Cox instead of Rehberg - it could seriously impact this dead-heat Senate race for the worse.

In response, Team Rehberg is out with a 30-second ad titled “Really,” which hits Tester for his “dirty campaign tactics” and anti-Montana policies like supporting two anti-gun judges to the Supreme Court and his wilderness bill