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Trump planning fourth visit to Montana to battle Tester

Trump planning fourth visit to Montana to battle Tester
© Alexander Bolton/The Hill

MISSOULA, Mont. — President TrumpDonald John TrumpBiden campaign slams Facebook after thousands of ads blocked by platform's pre-election blackout Mnuchin says he learned of Pelosi's letter to him about stimulus talks 'in the press' Harris to travel to Texas Friday after polls show tie between Trump, Biden MORE is planning a fourth trip to Montana, a state he won by 20 points, in an effort to knock off Democratic incumbent Sen. Jon TesterJonathan (Jon) TesterBitter fight over Barrett fuels calls to nix filibuster, expand court Green groups seek overturn of Colorado land plans after court decision ousting Pendley Democratic Senate emerges as possible hurdle for progressives  MORE (Mont.), according to Republican sources in the state. 

Tester appeared to be cruising to an easy reelection victory earlier this year, but the race has tightened in recent weeks, something Republicans say is largely due to the polarizing effect of the bitter fight over Supreme Court Justice Brett KavanaughBrett Michael KavanaughVermont secretary of State says Kavanaugh's correction still unsatisfactory Kavanaugh corrects opinion in voting case following Vermont official's objection The Hill's Morning Report - Sponsored by Facebook - Trump, Biden blitz battleground states MORE

Sensing vulnerability, Trump is going to make another visit to Montana next weekend to help Tester’s challenger, state auditor Matt Rosendale.

The visit would come just more than two weeks after Trump held a rally for Rosendale in Missoula on Oct. 18.

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The next rally is expected to take place in Bozeman, Montana’s tech hub, which Hillary ClintonHillary Diane Rodham ClintonHarris to travel to Texas Friday after polls show tie between Trump, Biden Harris more often the target of online misinformation than Pence: report The Hill's Campaign Report: What the latest polling says about the presidential race | Supreme Court shoots down GOP attempt to block NC mail ballot extension MORE carried narrowly in 2016. She won Gallatin County by a point with 45.6 percent of the vote. 

“Looks like he’s coming a fourth time now, looks like next Saturday. Probably somewhere in Bozeman,” said Sen. Steve DainesSteven (Steve) David DainesGOP sees path to hold Senate majority Democrat trails by 3 points in Montana Senate race: poll Poll shows statistical tie in Montana Senate race MORE (R-Mont.), who campaigned with Rosendale and Donald Trump Jr.Don John TrumpTrump's company paid at least .5M by federal government: report Latest 'Borat' footage appears to show star at the White House, meeting Trump Jr. Trump Jr. returning to campaign trail after quarantining MORE, the president’s eldest son, Saturday morning. 

“Donald Trump is popular in Montana, I think that’s reflected in the attendance we’re seeing,” Daines said at a rally at the Flathead County Fairgrounds in Kalispell, which was attended by roughly 200 to 300 people. 

Daines said he thinks the high-profile fight over Kavanaugh has revved up GOP voters in the state. 

“Montana Senate races usually have been close races,” he said. “The Kavanaugh confirmation process moved numbers around the country. I don’t think Montana is an exception to that.” 

The star of Saturday morning’s event was Trump Jr., an avid hunter and fisherman, who has been coming to Montana for years. 

An event Trump Jr. headlined in Butte Friday drew an estimated 200 to 250 people. He also attracted a boisterous crowd just outside Helena Friday evening. 

Trump Jr. later confirmed at another event in Missoula that his father will be back in the state next weekend. 

“I believe he is,” he said.

State Rep. Mike Cuffe (R), a state house representative running for the state senate, said the Tester-Rosendale race will come down to turnout, something that Trump can help generate. 

“It is very important that the voters show up and vote. That is very key. There is a contingent of folks that sometimes lay back, thinking they don’t need my vote. This time they do,” he said. 

A recent Montana Television Network-Montana State University poll conducted in late September and early October showed Tester with a 3-point lead.