HELENA, Montana (AP):
Dale Specht of Great Falls is a retired school janitor who goes to the same barber as US Senator Jon Tester, but also appreciates the assistance US Republican Denny Rehberg once offered him on a veteran's issue.
And he could be just about the most valuable voter in Montana: one of the few remaining undecideds who is paying attention and plans to vote.
Rehberg, the Republican challenger, and Tester are engaged in a multimillion-dollar food fight for a Senate seat prized by both parties seeking control of the chamber. Voters know both candidates well, and in a state with less than a million people, many have even engaged personally with the candidates.
Both sides, and their out-of-state allies, have been trying to break a near deadlock in the race by relentlessly hammering those voters with a deluge of attacks.
But Specht, the undecided retiree from Great Falls, isn't buying any of it.
"They are fighting among each other about stuff that's trivial," Specht said. "They are twisting stuff around, and I don't care for that."
Specht says Tester is "still down to earth and hasn't lost his roots," an important asset for the first-term Democrat getting attacked for supporting Obama administration policies. But Specht is very suspicious of the federal health-care law he believes was written "by someone back East sitting in a cubicle making up rules for everyone else".