Montana Public Radio

Matt Rosendale

Spending by Candidates In Montana's U.S. Senate Races, 2000-2018. Data: opensecrets.org, fec.org
Corin Cates Carney

The candidates for Montana's two contested seats in Congress this year, and their supporters, spent more than $76 million over the last two years in their election campaigns.

The U.S. Senate race between Democrat Jon Tester and Republican Matt Rosendale brought in most of that money, making it the most expensive election contest in state history.

President Donald Trump and Republican Senate candidate Matt Rosendale on stage during a July 5, 2018 rally in Great Falls, MT.
Corin Cates-Carney

An environmental SuperPAC says environmental messaging helped swing a handful of tight midterm races last month, including Montana’s hotly-contested U.S. Senate race.

The League of Conservation Voters Victory Fund urges future candidates to remember these results.

“And if they don’t, I think it will be at their peril," says  LCV Victory Fund’s Pete Maysmith.

Tester picks up votes in Trump country, and Montanans continue a long tradition of ticket-splitting. Governor Bullock has his hands full with another Republican-led Legislature, and this election stands out in many ways from previous Montana mid-terms. Sally Mauk, Chuck Johnson and Rob Saldin break it all down in this season's final installment of "Campaign Beat."

In Jon Tester’s narrow re-election to the U.S. Senate, he won the support of seven Montana counties that had voted for President Donald Trump in 2016.

Several of the counties that backed Tester this year were not just casual Trump supporters in 2016. The president won a couple by more than the 20 point margin he received statewide, including Lake County.

Sen. Tester speaks to supporters in Great Falls.
Courtesy Tester Campaign

Just after 11 a.m. Wednesday, Senator Jon Tester made this statement to a room full of supporters at a Great Falls hotel.

"For those of you that don't know — and I don't think anybody knows this — AP has just called this race," Tester told the crowd.

U.S. Sen. Jon Tester on election night. Nov. 6, 2018
Jackie Yamanaka / Yellowstone Public Radio

Updated at 12:30 p.m.

BILLINGS, Mont. (AP) — Montana Democrat Jon Tester captured a third term in the U.S. Senate with an extremely narrow victory over an opponent President Donald Trump tried to boost by making repeated visits to the state.

Updated at 9 a.m. Check our Live Election Results for the most up to date information.

Not all of Montana's precincts have fully reported this morning so in some cases we don't know much more than we did by the time many people went to bed last night.

Attendees at Vice President Mike Pence's rally on behalf of U.S. Senate candidate Matt Rosendale were given campaign stickers as tickets at the event in Kalispell, MT on Nov. 5, 2018.
Nicky Ouellet

Vice President Mike Pence was in Kalispell Monday morning campaigning for Republican Senate hopeful Matt Rosendale and Congressman Greg Gianforte.

About 550 people attended Pence’s third visit to Montana, held in a hangar at Glacier Park International Airport in Kalispell.

Senator Jon Tester campaigned with other Democrats for statewide office in Browning Nov 3, where he was lauded as an advocate for solving the epidemic of missing and murdered Indigenous women.
Nicky Ouellet

As members of the Crow tribal council stood alongside Republican Senate hopeful Matt Rosendale for his pro-coal stance at the Bozeman airport Saturday, tribal leaders from the Blackfeet Nation and Confederated Salish and Kootenai Tribes threw their weight behind Democrats Senator Jon Tester and Congressional candidate Kathleen Williams.

They started their day in Browning with a breakfast feed. By afternoon, they were at Elks Lodge in Polson with the Blacklodge drum circle.

Protesters gathered outside Trump rally at Bozeman Yellowstone International Airport in Belgrade, Montana
Corin Cates-Carney

Thousands of people gathered in Belgrade this weekend for President Donald Trump’s fourth visit to Montana to spur support for Republicans in the finals days before the midterm election. Once the airplane hangar turned Trump rally site at the Bozeman Yellowstone Airport filled up, an overflow crowd gathered outside its doors to listen to the President’s voice applifed from nearby speakers.

Pages