Jon Tester Case Study

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For many political scientists, the answer to Jon Tester’s victory is simple. After all, incumbents win nearly 80% of the time in the Senate. It can be expected that Tester would fall on the majority side of that break. Still, Montana is a conservative state, and Jon Tester is a Democrat who “votes with Obama 97% of the time”. He, like Obama, loves to spend money gained by raising taxes on hard-working Americans. He ran against Denny Rehberg, who had won in the same district he had – a benefit of Montana’s small voter population. He was one of the most vulnerable Democrats, running in a conservative state against someone who had been in politics for longer than he had, so how did he keep his position in the United States Senate? Montana is a…show more content…
Although a career politician, working as a political intern as early as 1977, having been in the Montana Legislature, Lieutenant governor, and the House of Representatives, Rehberg had little to point to in the way of effect. A “reformed” member of the House Appropriations committee, he was a specialist. During the three-year period of 2008-2010, be brought forty earmarks to Montana, over $19 million, an impressive feat for a Congressmen from a state with under a million voters. This was one of the things Tester attacked both Conrad Burns, against whom he ran in the 2006 election, and later Denny Rehberg on. When the Republicans revolted against earmarks, they hung their Montana Congressman out to dry. Tester, meanwhile, was a generalist who passed nearly a third of his proposed amendments. He focused on agriculture, labor, transportation, and public land management. While Rehberg won earmarks, Tester focused on policy, and come election time had a tangible legacy to point out to hesitant
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