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 BullockOVERNIGHT ENERGY: Down ballot races carry environmental implications | US officially exits Paris climate accord  GOP Rep. Greg Gianforte wins Montana governor's race Senate control in flux as counting goes forward in key states MORE narrowly trails incumbent Sen. Steve DainesSteven (Steve) David DainesRick Scott tests positive for coronavirus Biden eyes new leadership at troubled public lands agency OVERNIGHT ENERGY: Barrasso to seek top spot on Energy and Natural Resources Committee | Forest Service finalizes rule weakening environmental review of its projects | Biden to enlist Agriculture, Transportation agencies in climate fight 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.


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 GianforteGOP holds line in state legislatures, dealing blow to Democrats GOP Rep. Greg Gianforte wins Montana governor's race GOP's Rosendale wins Montana House seat 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.


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.