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Democrat trails by 3 points in Montana Senate race: poll

Democrat trails by 3 points in Montana Senate race: poll

Montana Democratic Senate candidate Steve BullockSteve BullockBiden 'allies' painting him into a corner Democratic Kansas City, Mo., mayor eyes Senate run Overnight Energy: Climate Summit Day 2 — Biden says US will work with other countries on climate innovation MORE narrowly trails incumbent Sen. Steve DainesSteven (Steve) David DainesGOP senator introduces constitutional amendment to ban flag burning Company officially nixes Keystone XL pipeline OVERNIGHT ENERGY: Biden ends infrastructure talks with key Republican | Colonial Pipeline CEO grilled over ransomware attack | Texas gov signs bills to improve power grid after winter storm MORE (R) in a New York Times-Siena College poll released Friday.

Bullock, who serves as Montana's governor, trails Daines by 3 points in the poll, 49 percent to 46 percent. Democrats believe the race is one of their best pickup opportunities this fall.

The same poll shows President Trump with a 6-point lead over Democratic rival Joe Biden, 49 percent to 43 percent. The state has not voted for a Democratic presidential nominee since 1992. The latest poll was conducted before the final presidential debate Thursday.

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Republicans also hold narrow 4-point leads in the race for governor as well as the state's sole House seat, the poll found.

In the gubernatorial race, Rep. Greg GianforteGregory Richard GianforteWolf hunting rules being eased in Montana despite population decline Montana governor donates first-quarter salary to drug treatment center States push back against federal unemployment policies delaying economic recovery MORE (R) leads Lt. Gov. Mike Cooney (D) 48 percent to 44 percent, while state auditor Matt Rosendale (R) leads former state Rep. Kathleen Williams (D) 50 percent to 46 percent in the House race.

Despite Montana's record of favoring GOP candidates, Bullock remains well-liked in the state, scoring a 52 percent to 43 percent favorability rating – higher than any other candidates in the state, including his GOP rival Daines. By comparison, Biden's favorability is underwater at 43 percent to 54 percent.

Among voters who approve of Trump's job performance, 87 percent indicated they support Daines, an uptick of 3 points from a previous Times-Siena College poll. Meanwhile, Bullock is supported by 7 percent of those who approve of the job Trump is doing in office.

Overall, a majority of likely voters in the state, 52 percent, approve of Trump's performance, while 44 percent disapprove.

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Bullock scored a 96 percent favorability rating among likely Democrat voters in the poll, 2 points ahead of Biden, who is backed by 94 percent of voters in his party in the state, according to the poll.

The 2020 election in Montana ranks as a record year for campaign spending, with a combined total of more than $100 million spent in the mostly-rural state, the Times reported.

The survey of 758 likely voters in Montana was conducted Oct. 18-20 and has an overall margin of error of 4.4 percentage points.