By Dustin Hurst ǀ Watchdog.org
HELENA —Republican U.S. House Rep. Denny Rehberg is turning down some time in the Florida sun to continue his campaign to take down Democratic U.S. Sen. Jon Tester.
Tester also plans to skip his party’s national confab to focus on the Senate contest, based on supporting evidence.
The Hill is reporting that Rehberg will skip the Republican National Convention Aug. 27-30 in Tampa Bay, Fla. The congressman’s campaign didn’t provide specific details on the decision to skip.
Tester, on the other hand, might miss at least some of the Democratic National Convention, set for Sept. 4-6 in Charlotte, N.C.
While Tester’s campaign has not explicitly said the incumbent Democrat wouldn’t participate in the convention, he proposed a debate for Sept. 5 — smack dab in the middle of the convention — in Butte.
The Rehberg campaign has not confirmed the congressman’s participation in the Sept. 5 event.
A number of other vulnerable Democratic candidates across the country, including West Virginia U.S. Sen. Joe Manchin, will skip the convention.
The pronouncement could be a sign that Rehberg’s campaign is worried about tightening poll numbers.
A June 18 Rasmussen Reports survey of 500 likely Montana voters released last week showed Rehberg up two points on Tester, down from the 10-point edge he held in early May.
The June Rasmussen survey had a 4.5 percent plus or minus margin of error. The seat is a tossup.
Rehberg spokesman Chris Bond did not immediately respond to a request for comment on the issue. Tester spokesman Aaron Murphy failed to return an email inquiry.
Update 7:56 p.m.: The Hill is now reporting that Tester will definitely miss the entire Democratic National Convention. Tester’s campaign did not give a reason for skipping the shindig.