|U.S. Senate, Montana|
While McConnell initially appeared on the official candidate list, he later withdrew.
The University of Virginia's Center for Politics published an article called Sabato's Crystal Ball on March 22, 2012, detailing the eight races in the Senate in 2012 that will decide the political fate of which party will end up with control in 2013. The seat rated a toss-up that the Sabato's Crystal Ball believes is most likely to change hands is the Senate seat in Montana. The article notes that incumbent Jon Tester is a slight underdog against challenger Denny Rehberg.
The unusual presence of two Libertarian primary contenders in the race has lead the state’s election chief to put both Libertarian candidates on the general election ballot instead of conducting a costly and separate Libertarian primary.
Secretary of State Linda McCulloch said that a separate Libertarian primary would have cost counties a combined total of $350,000 to $390,000.
Libertarian primaries typically draw anywhere from 3 percent to 5 percent of the general election vote, but counties would nevertheless have been required to print the same number of Libertarian ballots as they do Republican and Democratic ones.
State election officials cited Montana law (MCA 13-10-209), which states that the election administrator does not need to prepare a primary ballot for a party that does not have candidates for more than half the offices on the ballot.
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- Helenair Article about McConnell's entrance
- Newstalk KGVO Profile
- Billings Gazette Article about race