Earlier, we looked at the candidate who helped Rep. Shelley Berkley, D-Nev., to a loss in her Senate contest Tuesday night. In Montana, the third-party candidate also had an impact -- and it seems even more clear that his votes came from GOP Rep. Denny Rehberg, who narrowly lost to Democratic Sen. Jon Tester.
Dan Cox, the Libertarian candidates, racked up about 30,000 votes. It's significantly more than the number of votes separating Tester and Rehberg. And Tester can in part thank an outside group that supported his bid and put $500,000 ads calling Cox "The Real Conservative."
Cox's candidacy was bolstered by a flurry of expensive television and print advertisements paid for by a hunters-and-anglers group sympathetic to Tester.
Cox, a Hamilton man who owns an Internet fishing equipment business, said the advertisements took him by surprise.
"I was totally unaware of any of that," Cox said. "It did open my eyes to the fact that a lot of political advertisements were not authorized by any candidate. PACs, to some degree, are running the elections."
"I liked the content of the ads," Cox said. "I just had no idea of who funded the ads or who was behind it."
Cox said Wednesday that he raised about $3,000 throughout the course of the race.