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Jon Tester
U.S. Sen. Jon Tester of Montana leads a crowd in a cheer during a rally in Helena, Mont., on Wednesday, Oct. 31, 2018. Tester, a Democrat is running for re-election against Republican challenger Matt Rosendale. (AP Photo/Matt Volz)

Tester wins Montana Senate race

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WASHINGTON (Circa) -- Democratic Sen. Jon Tester successfully defended his seat in Tuesday's midterm election, defeating his Republican opponent Matt Rosendale. The race was called Wednesday.

Tester was one of many Democrats seeking to hold onto his seat in a state that voted for President Donald Trump in the 2016 presidential election. Rosendale sought to capitalize on the Trump momentum, and shared the stage with the president during a campaign rally. Nevertheless, poll analysis site FiveThirtyEight gave Tester a 76 percent chance to retain his seat coming into election day.

Rosendale summed up the election as a referendum on Trump, telling supporters at a rally on Saturday that while the president may not be on the ballot, "his policies are." Rosendale presented himself as the candidate who will protect those policies. But the Trump victory was hardly the first time Montana exhibited a populist streak. Tester himself narrowly won his first senate bid in 2006 running on a populist platform.

In addition to the focus on Trump, the election was also characterized by money. Approximately $60 million was spent during the race, according to Montana's KULR8.

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