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Montana politics, elections and legislative news

New Poll Shows Bullock 12 Points Ahead Of Gianforte

A portion of the latest poll from MSU-Billings
A portion of the latest poll from MSU-Billings

A new poll from MSU-Billings released this afternoon shows Governor Steve Bullock and Congressman Ryan Zinke with substantial leads over their opponents. 

Students at MSU Billings polled 590 adult Montanans between October 3rd through the 10th. It is the 28th time the school has done a political survey 

It found Democratic Governor Steve Bullock led his Republican challenger by a margin of  44 percent to 32 percent for Greg Gianforte. Twenty percent said they didn’t know or no answer for who they preferred for governor. 

For the US House Race, Congressman Ryan Zinke led 50 percent to 31 percent over Democrat Denise Juneau. Nineteen percent said they didn’t know or no answer in the House race.

In the Presidential race, Republican Donald Trump led Democrat Hillary Clinton 43 to 27 percent, again with 20 percent saying they didn’t know or no answer.

Montana State Political Science Professor David Parker says he’s surprised by the high number of undecideds in this poll.

"As for the snapshot in time, I’m not surprised that Trump is in the lead that’s kinda where I expect the race to go," Parker said. "I’m not surprised Ryan Zinke is in the lead, he definitely is the favorite to win re-election, and I’m not surprised that Steve Bullock was in the lead earlier in the month, and I guess the race could have tightened between then and the Lee Newspaper polls but that’s rather somewhat unlikely.

The Lee Newspaper poll was conducted by Mason-Dixon Polling and Research. It was conducted slightly after the MSU Billings Poll, but released just over a week ago. It found the gubernatorial race within the margin of error, with Bullock over Gianforte by a slim two percentage points.

Parker says professional polling firms will ask respondents if they say they are undecided which direction they are leaning. He says that’s not considered leading a respondent to make a choice.

PARKER: Cause most people do lean in one direction or another (:02)

He says in all 3 of the races polled 20-percent is a high number of undecideds, especially in the gubernatorial and U.S. House races where there’s an incumbent.

The MSU Billings poll has a margin of error of plus or minus 4 percentage points.

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