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The proposed text presents a detailed case study of the US Senate race in Montana in 2012 and is intended for use as a supplement in courses on campaigns and elections, the US Congress, and American Government. This race is of particular interest because it was one of only a few competitive races in 2012 and because of the impact of Citizens United and so-called “dark money” on the campaign. Furthermore, the setting in Montana offers a view into the rising political influence of the West, the importance of “place” in politics, and the impact of congressional styles and constituent relationships on campaigns and elections. The author, David C.W. Parker, was granted exceptional access by both campaigns over the 21 months preceding the election, allowing him to tell the story of the race in fascinating detail. Throughout the narrative, Parker will weave in political analysis and place the race in the broader context of congressional elections and the research literature.

Campaigning in a Citizens United World: The Early Days of the Race
Campaigning in a citizens united world: The early days of the race

Team Rehberg and Team Tester both recognized early on two important facts about the upcoming race. First, substantial sums of money were necessary to implement their respective campaign plans. When I visited with Rehberg in late summer of 2011, he estimated that eight million dollars would be necessary to confront the ten million Tester would likely spend.1 After the election, Tester's campaign manager Preston Elliot confirmed that ten million dollars was the Tester campaign's goal.2 Second, outside groups—courtesy of the recent Supreme Court decision in Citizens United that allows corporations and labor unions to spend directly on electioneering—would dump substantial resources ...

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