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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.

The End Game
The end game

The final public poll of the campaign, conducted by Public Policy Polling (PPP) showed the race at 48 percent Tester, 46 percent Rehberg—within the margin of error.1 Rehberg's combined tracking sample from the last two weeks of October gave Tester a five-point lead, with Libertarian Dan Cox pulling almost six percent. If Rehberg and Erik Iverson were right, Republicans would come home at the very end and propel Rehberg to victory. If the Tester campaign was right, just enough Republicans would stay with Tester to give him a narrow win. Either way, we likely wouldn't know it until the wee hours of the morning after. I joined the Tester campaign in Great Falls at their election night celebration because, ...

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