A presidential test in Montana: Trump vs. Tester


President Donald Trump made his fourth trip to Montana since July, which political historians here believe is more than any other president of the United States. Harry Truman visited three times, but in four years.

Trump invests more in the Montana Senate competition than almost any other, telling friends that the sweeter revenge of the election will hit the Tester.

This fight became Trump vs. Tester – at least in the eyes of the President – with the Republican candidate Matt Rosendale far more than an attendee.

"How the hell did you choose this guy?" Trum ran during a visit to Missoula two weeks ago.

The tester sounds much less willing to take a fight and tries to keep the fight centered on the differences between him and Rosendale.

"The president comes is good," Tester told CNN. "I would like to see him walking and not just doing concerts, but seeing some of the challenges we have in a rural state like Montana. I mean, he's from New York, he could learn a lot."

As the fight to control Congress ran into a frenetic final weekend, with the President flying from Indiana to Montana in Florida on Saturday alone, he tells allies that he resigns from the Republicans who lose their hand in the House. He warned supporters on Friday in West Virginia saying: "It could happen."

But it is the struggle for the Senate – and the prospect of getting this Montana seat – that leads Trump in the downfall of his first interim election campaign.

While a handful of Red State Democrats could fall on Tuesday, no other Senate competition has become so competitive because of Trump's involvement. North Dakota's Heidi Heitkamp, ​​Missouri's Claire McCaskill, and Indiana's Joe Donnelly have always faced tough challenges, while Tester was seen as the senator who is likely to go through a difficult democratic year.

Until the chariot upset.

The President said on Saturday that he was not forgiven for asking questions that eventually led to the inconvenient withdrawal of Dr. Tester. Ronny Jackson, Trump's personal physician, as a candidate for the secretary of veteran affairs.

"He can be a good guy except he tried to destroy Anm, Ronny Jackson, who is the cleanest, most beautiful person you've ever met and tried to destroy him," said Trump. "And I have never forgotten it and it is sincerely one of the reasons I have gone so far."

Now, the fight is the ultimate test for the Trump.

It will determine if it is the exception to the rule of how the popularity of a president often does not translate to other candidates during the midterm elections. And he will offer a window on whether his loyal supporters will take his lead against the Tester, a third-generation farmer known friends and foes, who has managed to win two terms of the Senate as a democrat in a deep red democratic state.

In an interview, Tester tried to reduce the influence of Trump.

"This was a difficult race, we knew it would have been a tough race two years ago, no matter who came out of the championship," Tester said after a gathering of supporters at Livingston. He added, "But the fact is that this is a fight between me and Matt Rosendale, and the differences are enormous."

In the last weekend, strategists from both sides have told CNN that they believe the fight is fierce. The Republicans hope that President's visit on Saturday will cause electric shock to Rosendale's candidacy, waking up any Trump supporters who do not pay much attention.

While Trump has put much more of the skin in the game than other presidents have in the medium-term campaigns, crossing the country with one fight after another, he still worries that his supporters do not follow the election much because his name is not is in the vote.

"You hear the means and you go to sleep, right?" Disgusting hit the fans recently in Missouri, recognizing that he rarely paid attention to the medium-term races before moving to politics three years ago.

Although Republicans are approaching Election Day with a small advantage to keep Senate control, the majority of them are almost certain to remain subtle, with every vote critical, especially if the Democrats occupy the House and reform the political order in Washington.

Trump admits that the Montana seat is more personal than the firewall.

"It's not that we need the vote so badly," he told the fans late last month at Missoula. "I can never forget what Jon Tester did."

As a top Democrat in the Veterans Committee, the Tester has raised intense and persistent questions about Jackson's professional behavior. The President finally withdrew Jackson's candidacy to head the Veterans Affairs Department, but made it clear that he has not gone ahead.

When Trum arrived in his first visit in July, Tester put up an ad in more than twelve newspapers across the state: "Welcome to Montana and thank President Trump for supporting Jon's legislation to help veterans."

Since then, the atmosphere has become much more painful.

The outcome of the Tester-Rosendale race will examine whether there is still an appetite between the electorate for bilateral control and balance on Trump. Two years ago, he defeated Hillary Clinton here with 20 points, even when the voters re-elected Governor Steve Bullock, Democrat.

To win the Tester, Trump voters need it.

During visits to Great Falls in July, Billings in September, Missoula in October, and just outside Bozeman on Saturday, Trump repeatedly tried to nationalize the fight and turn Tester, the farmer from Big Sandy into a puppet of Senator Chuck Schumer of New York, the Democratic Senate leader.

"He will never vote for us," Trump said on Saturday, dedicating a significant part of his speech to the tester Tester as "a very leftist democrat".

For his part, the Tester does what it can to keep the fight focused on local issues such as access to health care and public territories. One of the campaign closing ads has an old meat grinder where it lost three fingers in a child's accident.

"I was 9 years old when I lost my fingers on this meat mill," Tester says in the announcement. "My parents were paid for the hospital because our health care did not cover anything."

Rosendale, a former Maryland contractor who moved to Montana in 2002, served three terms in the legislature before becoming the state's controller. He has stuck tightly on Trump, often wearing the hypocritical blue suit and the red tie.

The fight could also be affected by a late development: candidate Rick Breckenridge threw his support behind Rosendale this week.

His name will remain on the ballot, but Breckenridge said he favors Rosendale, which angered some Libertarian activists in the state. Six years ago, the Liberal candidate captured more than 6% of the votes in a test match that earned just 4 percentage points.

While the strategists of both sides believe that the minds of most voters have already been created – most Montanans, in fact, cast their votes by mail and about two-thirds of the electorate already have – Trump believes it can increase Republican participation with another visit and last attempt to name Tester as Republican.

"The Democrats have actually turned into an angry mob," Trump said on his last trip here. "And your senator is one of them."

However, the question remains whether the President can paint the Tester as a democrat democrat or especially angry. The senator smiled throughout Friday as he shot the audience, reminding him of his strong relationship with the earth.

"What we really need to talk about," she said, "is Montana."