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Does a GOP Win in Montana Spell Trouble for Tester in ’18?

After Democrats failed to win a special election in Montana, despite the dollars and watching eyes of national Dems, is Jon Tester in trouble there for 2018?

Jon Tester

Greg Gianforte’s win in the Montana at-large special congressional election on Thursday night made a lot of Democrats unhappy, but Sen. Jon Tester (D-MT) may be unhappy and worried.

Gianforte beat Democrat Rob Quist with around 50.3 percent of the vote. Quist earned 44 percent and a libertarian, Mark Wicks, earned almost six percent. Gianforte won despite national controversy over the “body slam” he gave a Guardian reporter the night before the election.

Decision Desk HQ map

As the dust settles, though, and Gianforte takes office, Tester’s team may be poring over the results to determine how vulnerable he is in 2018 after Quist’s loss.

President Trump won Montana in 2016 with 55 percent of the vote. Hillary Clinton earned only 35 percent. Quist only earned 44 percent of the vote, despite hundreds of thousands of dollars in spending from national Democrats.

These results and more make Tester one of the most vulnerable Democrats in 2018. Though Tester has sold himself as a moderate, he voted against Neil Gorsuch for the Supreme Court, and his press room is a litany of hard criticism for the Trump administration and GOP-led Congress.

Tester may be looking over his shoulder as Republican opponents line up against him for the competitive 2018 cycle.