Good news from Montana

Montana is a Red State, and there will be no good excuse if Republican Denny Rehberg (a Power Line Pick Six candidate) does not defeat liberal Democrat Jon Tester this year. But the absence of a good excuse for losing doesn’t ensure victory in Red State Senate races — a lesson that likely will be reinforced in one or more Senate race on Tuesday.

Fortunately, Rehberg has run a pretty good campaign. At a minimum, he has not committed unforced errors on sensitive issues like rape, just to pick a random example.

Thus, it isn’t surprising to see Rehberg leading Tester by 4 points, 49-45, in a poll by conducted for the Billings Gazette by Mason-Dixon Polling and Research. The margin of error is plus or minus 4 points.

Six weeks ago, Rehberg led by a similar margin of 48-45. Since then, Tester supporters have tried to siphon off support for Rehberg by promoting a third party candidate, liberatarian Dan Cox. However, the current Billings Gazette poll shows Cox’s support at a mere 1 percent.

Incumbent Senators who can’t crack 45 percent in late pollings are in big trouble. So with Cox apparently failing to gain traction, Tester’s time in the Senate may well be drawing to a close.