New Poll Shows Bullock Leading Daines In Montana Senate Race
A new poll released on Tuesday by Montana State University puts Democratic Governor Steve Bullock seven points ahead of Republican Senator Steve Daines in the state’s Senate race.
In the online poll, which surveyed 738 registered voters, more than 46% of respondents said they’d pick Bullock, while 39% said they’d support Daines. The poll’s margin of error is plus-or-minus 3.6 percentage points.
The results foreshadow a tight race in Montana, which could become another pickup for Democrats as they try to flip the upper chamber this fall.
So far, polling has shown close Senate races in the Republican-held states of Arizona, Colorado, Maine, and North Carolina, dubbed “the core four” by some pollsters. To regain control of the upper chamber, Democrats will need to pick up three or four of those seats in November. At least one Democrat, Senator Doug Jones in Alabama, is at risk of losing a seat.
“If Democrats wanted to expand beyond what we’re calling the core four states, Montana would probably be the best prospect for a pickup,” says Miles Coleman, associate editor of Sabato’s Crystal Ball, a nonpartisan political newsletter.
Bullock, who is wrapping up his second term as Montana governor, may have gotten a boost in the polls from his handling of the coronavirus crisis. “During these times of crisis, governors tend to be the most visible people in the state,” says Coleman.
The MSU poll shows that 70% of respondents approve of Bullock’s response to the pandemic. Daines’ approval for his handling of the crisis is far lower at 48%.
As one of the least densely populated U.S. states, Montana has been somewhat spared by the coronavirus pandemic, reporting fewer than 500 COVID-19 cases altogether. With new cases flatlining in the last few weeks, Governor Bullock has begun a phased reopening of the state’s schools and businesses.
But Coleman says the governor’s surge in popularity could peter out if the pandemic fades out of view before the election. “The few months we have until November — that can pretty much be an eternity when it comes to politics,” he says. “It’s very possible that by the time the election rolls around things are looking a bit less favorable for Bullock.”
Bullock launched his campaign for Senate in March after a short-lived run for president that ended in December. The governor initially said he wasn’t interested in running for Senate, but reversed course after an appeal by top Democrats that reportedly included Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer and former President Barack Obama.
Despite Bullock’s polling lead, Sabato’s Crystal Ball still gives Daines a slight advantage with a “Lean Republican” rating for Montana’s Senate race.
However, Coleman says that Montana voters have a unique tendency to vote against incumbents. In 1996, Montana was one of the few states that voted for Republican candidate Bob Dole after voting for Bill Clinton, a Democrat, in the previous presidential election.
“It is a red state, but it tends to have these big movements against the party that’s in power,” Coleman says.
In The News
The majority of Americans, including many Republicans, said the appointment of Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s successor to the U.S. Supreme Court should be left to the winner of the November presidential election, Reuters reported, citing the Reuters/Ipsos poll released on Sunday. A survey conducted Sept. 19-20 after... Read More
WASHINGTON — As the presidential race moves into its final seven weeks, with former Vice President Joe Biden holding a lead that remains steady but not conclusive, he and President Donald Trump face contrasting challenges, new data from a University of Southern California Dornsife poll show.... Read More
WASHINGTON — Generation Z loathes him. Millennials overwhelmingly back his opponent. And even once-supportive seniors have turned away. As his turbulent reelection bid enters its final phase, President Donald Trump has been hindered by lackluster approval from most generations of voters — with one important exception.... Read More
Asian American voters prefer Joe Biden to President Donald Trump by 54% to 30% for November’s presidential election, according to a survey released Tuesday by a coalition of Asian American civic engagement groups. It shows Democrats making another strong showing with one of the nation’s fastest-growing... Read More
The public is deeply skeptical about any coronavirus vaccine approved before the November election, and only 42% would be willing to get a vaccine in that scenario, according to a new poll. The results of the poll by the Kaiser Family Foundation reveal widespread concern that... Read More
Two sets of public opinion surveys commissioned by AARP across 11 key battleground states found a majority of likely voters aged 50 and older plan to cast their ballots either absentee or during the early voting period this election cycle. AARP’s poll also found similar levels... Read More