Challenger Denny Rehberg leads Sen. Jon Tester in Montana poll 

A new poll shows Sen. Jon Tester, Democrat of Montana, trailing his challenger in the 2012 election matchup.

Rep. Denny Rehberg, the state's at-large Republicans member of Congress, appears to have a three point lead over Tester, according to a poll conducted by 47 North Communications.

When asked who they would vote for in the 2012 senate election, 44 percent said they would pick Tester for a second term and 47 percent said Rehberg would be their choice. Nine percent were undecided.

The sampling was small - just 400 likely voters - so the margin of error is 4.65 percent, which technically means the two could be tied at this point or Tester could even have a slight lead. In fact, among independents, Tester came out ahead with 47 percent compared to 44 percent support for Rehberg.

But the numbers show at the very least that Tester is in for a very tough fight for re-election and is one of the most endangered Senate Democrats right now. Look for him to move toward the political center and to distance himself as much as he can from President Obama on big liberal initiatives.

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Susan Ferrechio

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