Montana Sen. Jon Tester today launched his first TV ad of the cycle, a 30-second positive spot featuring the first-term Democrat back home on the ranch.
"Sitting out here makes the partisanship back there seem pretty ridiculous," Tester says in the ad. "Montanans don't care which party gets the credit or the blame. That's why I'm focused on doing what's right for Montana — always."
Tester won by a slim margin in 2006, a strong year for Democrats nationwide. He's facing a stiff test in his first re-election against Rep. Denny Rehberg (R), who has won eight statewide elections. This is a top pickup opportunity for national Republicans, who plan to tie Tester to President Barack Obama as often as possible.
Tester's first ad, titled "Combine" and which the campaign spent $60,000 to run statewide, is reminiscent of one he ran in 2006, when he toppled then-Sen. Conrad Burns (R).
"[It's] always been our strategy to focus early on who Jon is, what he stands for and his record in the Senate — and that's what our ads will do," Tester campaign manager Preston Elliott said in a statement. "Jon made it clear he wants to focus on facts in this campaign, and the simple fact is that he is a Montana farmer with Montana values who makes responsible decisions and holds Washington — and himself — accountable to Montana."
Roll Call rates the Montana Senate race as a Tossup.