You are on page 1of 1

Montana – U.S.

Democrat Republican

Candidate Jon Tester Conrad Burns
Funds On Hand $515,000 $2,207,000
Recent Poll 48% 45%
After accusations of corruption and numerous controversial public statements, Sen. Conrad Burns is in the fight of his life.
This entrenched incumbent is the target of a strong challenge by Democrat Jon Tester. If Tester were to win, it would
mark the replacement of one of the most reliably right-wing votes in the Senate with an energetic and dedicated
progressive. The Cook Political Report ranks this race a “Toss-Up.”

One of the largest and least-populated states, Montana is reliably conservative in recent presidential elections. The tide
may be turning, however; Democrats had a banner year in Montana in 2004, picking up the governorship and the state
legislature. This state may be willing to take another look at progressive politics on the federal level. Burns is particularly
vulnerable to this tide: current Gov. Brian Schweitzer nearly unseated Burns in a close 2000 race.

About Jon Tester
First elected to the state Senate in 1998 from the rural
town of Big Sandy, Jon Tester rose to become President
of the body. He is a former music teacher and third-
generation wheat farmer who uses organic farming
methods. He won a surprisingly large and convincing
61% victory in the June primary and gained momentum
in his challenge to Burns. He is stressing his role as a
bipartisan consensus-builder in the Senate, and his strong
progressive stance on health care, energy, natural
resources and ethics.

About Conrad Burns
Burns has served in the U.S. Senate since 1988. He has
received a perfect 100% rating from the American
Conservative Union in 2005. Burns is a key proponent of some of the GOP’s most aggressive policies on a wide variety of
issues, including bankruptcy, oil drilling in Alaska’s wilderness preserves, taxation, and social issues. He has also been
tied closely to convicted felon Jack Abramoff, receiving thousands from the former lobbyist in campaign contributions
and accompanying him on numerous trips. He was named as one of the most corrupt members of Congress by Citizens for
Responsibility and Ethics in Washington. Burns does not have the most polished public presence: his frequent gaffes have
made him seem insensitive and out of touch.

Fundraising and Polling
Burns, as a two-term incumbent, has a substantial fundraising advantage. He has brought in over $5.5 million this cycle,
and industries from banking to oil to pharmaceuticals have poured money into his campaign. He has already spent
heavily, leaving him with $2.2 million on hand. Tester has brought in $1.7 million, 86% of which came from individual
contributors. His primary spending has left him with $515,000 on hand.

Polling since the primary has shown this race to be very competitive. The independent Rasmussen poll done in mid-
August shows a 47-47 tie, Tester’s most recent internal polling shows him ahead 44-37, and the latest independent poll,
done the last week of August by USA Today, gives Tester a 48-45 advantage, within the margin of error.


Not authorized by any candidate or candidate’s committee.