Politics

Democrats Keep Up Ranching Attacks on Rosendale in Montana

New Majority Forward ad features actor struggling to carry hay

Democrats are attacking Montana Republican Senate nominee Matt Rosendale for being from out of state. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

A Democratic outside group is going up with its first attack ad against Matt Rosendale, the Republican challenging Democratic Sen. Jon Tester in Montana, for being from Maryland and not being a real rancher. 

The Majority Forward spot, shared first with Roll Call, features an actor playing Rosendale as he struggles to work what the narrator calls a “multimillion-dollar trophy ranch.” 

Majority Forward is the affiliated nonprofit of Senate Majority PAC, the super PAC that works to elect Democrats to the Senate. The ad is part of the group’s previously announced seven-figure fall reservation in the state.

Democrats have been attacking Rosendale, the state auditor, for being from out of state, using his past as a land developer to argue he doesn’t understand Montana values, especially when it comes to public lands. Democrats have seized on a May story by Talking Points Memo about the Republican nominee never having owned cattle.

The ad accuses Rosendale of dressing up as a rancher and shows the actor wearing white boots, unpacking a saddle from the trunk of a Jaguar and struggling to carry hay.  

Democrats are using Rosendale as a foil against Tester, who’s running as a longtime Montana farmer

In a state President Donald Trump won by 20 points in 2016, Republicans’ best shot at winning the seat is nationalizing the race. To that end, Trump recently held a rally for Rosendale in Billings. Since then, national Republicans released polling showing the race tightening. Donald Trump Jr. is scheduled to rally for Rosendale on Tuesday in Bozeman, while Vice President Mike Pence is headed to the state next week. 

Inside Elections with Nathan L. Gonzales rates the race Tilts Democratic

Watch: In Montana, Searching for Votes in the ‘Teepee Capital of the World’

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