Republican Challenger Pulls Ahead of Montana Senator Tester: Poll

Jon Tester (Drew Angerer/Getty Images)
April 9, 2024

A new poll this week shows Republican challenger Tim Sheehy leading incumbent Democratic senator Jon Tester in Montana’s Senate race.

Sheehy is leading Tester 48 percent to 45 percent, with 7 percent of polled Montana voters still undecided, according to the poll released on Monday by J.L. Partners. Montana is poised to have one of the most closely watched Senate races this fall as Republicans and Democrats ramp up their fight for control of the Senate, where Democrats hold a slim 51-49 majority. 

While the poll shows the Democratic incumbent enjoys greater popularity among women, younger voters, and independents, Sheehy, a businessman and political newcomer, garnered enough support from male and older voters to take the lead overall. 

"This poll shows what we’re hearing from folks across the state—Montanans want a political outsider who will deliver common sense solutions that put Montana and America first," Sheehy’s campaign team said in a statement. 

"Despite Chuck Schumer and Jon Tester smearing us for the last 7 months with nearly $7 million in attack ads, their phony charade is up," the statement added. "Montanans are fed up with the disastrous Biden-Tester liberal agenda of never-ending inflation, open borders, and reckless spending. Come November, Montanans will finally retire Jon Tester and Joe Biden."

Sheehy in February was endorsed by former president Donald Trump in Montana’s Republican Senate primary against Rep. Matt Rosendale (R., Mont.), who has since dropped out of the race. 

"Tim Sheehy is an American Hero and highly successful Businessman from the Great State of Montana," Trump posted on Truth Social. "He is strongly supported by our incredible Chairman of the [National Republican Senatorial Committee], Steve Daines, and many other patriotic Senators and Republicans who have endorsed our Campaign to, MAKE AMERICA GREAT AGAIN!"