Democrat–aligned groups are working to put a state constitutional amendment protecting abortion rights on Montana’s ballot next year, a move that would boost embattled Democratic Sen. Jon Tester’s re-election bid.
Why it matters: Tester is one of the most vulnerable Senate incumbents in 2024. Democrats are clinging to a 51-seat majority in the chamber, so his campaign is critical to determining whether they keep control of the Senate in 2025.
- The effort in Montana is part of a national strategy by Democrats to put abortion issues on the ballot in as many critical states as possible.
- Abortion-rights measures have proved to be a powerful motivator for Democratic voters in several recent elections in other states, as the party is riding a wave of victories on the issue heading into 2024.
Driving the news: In late November, abortion-rights advocates including Planned Parenthood Action Fund filed paperwork in Montana to begin the lengthy process to get a constitutional amendment on the November 2024 ballot.
Codifying reproductive rights — good! Mobilizing pro-choice voters, good! Increasing the salience of an issue on which the Democratic position is more popular in the vast majority of states — good! As political strategy goes, this is one of the easiest calls, especially when defending a highly vulnerable incument.