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Montana politics, elections and legislative news

New Poll: Republicans Lead Montana House, Senate Races

Rep. Ryan Zinke
Eric Whitney

The latest statewide poll shows Republicans are leading in Montana’s races for the US House and Senate, but a large number of respondents remain undecided.

In the race for the open US House seat, Republican Ryan Zinke is leading Democrat John Lewis by a 40 percent to 33 percent margin.

Yellowstone Public Radio spoke to Montana State University Billings Political Science Professor Craig Wilson.

"I think the House race is probably, in relative terms, a bit closer than a lot of people thought," said Wilson.

About 25 percent of respondents said they were undecided.

It is an open seat because incumbent Republican Congressman Steve Daines is running for the open US Senate seat.

The Montana State University Billings Poll found Daines leading Democrat Amanda Curtis by a 47 percent to 31 percent margin.

Professor Mathew McMullen, one of the poll’s co-directors says what’s notable about that, is that Daines is polling below 50 percent.

"Maybe if there’s any hope for, any silver lining for the Democrats in this poll is that Daines is below 50," said McMullen.

Just over 20 percent of respondents said they were undecided in Montana’s US Senate race.

The poll was conducted October 6th through the 11th. This was just as voters were receiving absentee ballots in the mail.

It has a margin of error of plus or minus 5 percentage points.

The pollsters say about half of respondents were contacted via their cell phones.

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