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NPR Politics Podcast: Jon Tester “Knows What it's Like to Live and Work in Montana”

NPR Politics Podcast April 25, 2024

BILLINGS – Don’t miss the NPR Politics Podcast episode focusing on third-generation dirt farmer Jon Tester’s re-election race, highlighting how Jon knows how to protect the Montana way of life because he lives it. 


NPR points out how Jon has “long been known as a farmer from a really small rural town in Montana,” and is “almost always back home and still has a working farm.” All of this is why Jon has earned a strong coalition of support across Montana, with the podcast mentioning Jon’s unique appeal to Montanans of all political stripes.



Or read some excerpts from the podcast below!


NPR Politics Podcast: Donald Trump Won Montana By Double-Digits. Can Its Democratic Senator Keep His Seat?

By Tamara Keith, Susan Davis, and Shaylee Ragar

April 24, 2024

  • SHAYLEE RAGAR: “People probably think of Montana as a red state. But we have a long history of being more of a purple state. We had a Democrat in our governor’s office for two decades. But in 2020, we saw Republicans sweep every statewide office. […] So all eyes and a lot of focus from national Republicans is on Tester and trying to unseat him in this election.”
  • SUE DAVIS: “I’ve talked to Tester earlier in the year, and he had this joke where he said, ‘In Montana, we have Republicans, Democrats, independents, and they’re all libertarians.’
  • RAGAR: “Senator Jon Tester has long been known as a farmer from a really small rural town in Montana. And he has long been a plainspoken, down-home-type person who presents himself that way to his constituents, to voters. You know, he’s never short on jokes about only having seven fingers. He lost three fingers to a childhood meat-grinding accident.”
  • RAGAR: “He’s known to use swear words on occasion when he’s talking passionately about politics. And he’s really presented himself as a moderate who knows what it’s like to live and work in Montana and who can relate to the average person.
  • DAVIS: “He doesn’t physically present in what you would consider the Hollywood typecast of United States Senator, […] and makes a big point in D.C. to note that he’s almost always back home and still has a working farm. And especially when it’s planting season or other types of the farm cycle, he spends more time back at home.
  • RAGAR: “The Emerson Poll did show in early March that 14% of Montana voters who say they plan to vote for Trump also plan to vote for Tester, so we may still see this purple streak alive and well in Montana.”