As many voters hold negative views about Rehberg as Tester.
It didn’t help Rehberg’s case that late last year he had to drop a lawsuit he filed against his hometown’s firefighters as political damage from it mounted. Three years ago, Rehberg, 57, also made headlines after he and staffers were seriously injured when a boat being operated by a GOP state senator crashed after a night of drinking.
Democrats also hope the Libertarian candidate on the ticket steals some anti-government conservative voters from Rehberg’s side.
Rehberg, meanwhile, is sticking to his strategy of denouncing Obama administration policies and attacking Tester for backing many of them. Rehberg argues that Tester is not the independent-minded farmer the state thought it was going to get.
‘‘It is the cumulative effect of all the taxes and regulations that are stifling businesses,’’ Rehberg told campaign supporters at one Helena campaign stop, reinforcing his primary theme. ‘‘Government is not going to create the jobs. Montanans do.’’