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 TrumpTrump says he doesn't want NYT in the White House Veterans group backs lawsuits to halt Trump's use of military funding for border wall Schiff punches back after GOP censure resolution fails 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) TesterBennet reintroduces bill to ban lawmakers from becoming lobbyists Schumer seeks focus on health care amid impeachment fever Red-state Democrats worry impeachment may spin out of control 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 KavanaughMajority disapprove of Trump Supreme Court nominations, says poll These 3 women are defining the race to unseat Trump On The Money: Supreme Court takes up challenge to CFPB | Warren's surge brings scrutiny to wealth tax | Senators eye curbs on Trump emergency powers 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.


The next rally is expected to take place in Bozeman, Montana’s tech hub, which Hillary ClintonHillary Diane Rodham ClintonSanders: 'Outrageous' to suggest Gabbard 'is a foreign asset' Clinton attacks on Gabbard become flashpoint in presidential race Saagar Enjeti: Clinton remarks on Gabbard 'shows just how deep the rot in our system goes' 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 DainesFallout from Kavanaugh confirmation felt in Washington one year later Conservatives offer stark warning to Trump, GOP on background checks The 23 Republicans who opposed Trump-backed budget deal MORE (R-Mont.), who campaigned with Rosendale and Donald Trump Jr.Donald (Don) John TrumpTrump says he doesn't want NYT in the White House Romney earns rants and raves for secret Twitter name DOJ: McGahn, Trump Jr. did not testify before Mueller grand jury 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.