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MSU-Billings poll: Bullock a Dem favorite in Senate race, if he runs

Posted at 1:52 PM, Oct 23, 2019
and last updated 2019-10-24 12:52:01-04

Montana Democrats would overwhelmingly support Gov. Steve Bullock in a 2020 U.S. Senate bid were he to run, and they're uncertain of their choice is he doesn't run, according to a new poll from Montana State University-Billings.

MSUB released the results of the 32nd edition of the Mountain States Poll Wednesday, asking the opinion of 215 Montana voters and 117 from Wyoming.

The poll asked voters from each party their opinions on presidential and congressional races. Pollsters also asked respondents their takes on how the president and Congress are doing.

The poll has a 6.7 percent margin of error for the Montana sample group, and 7.4 percent for the Wyoming group and was conducted between the dates of Oct. 7-12, 14, and 16 of this year. Poll respondents were contacted via cell phone or a land line.

Of Montana Democrats, 59 percent would vote for Bullock if he chose to challenge incumbent Republican U.S. Sen. Steve Daines. Bullock, however, is running for president and has stated numerous times that he's not interested in the Senate.

In the race to replace Bullock, who is term-limited, as governor, 33 percent of Republican voters chose U.S. Rep. Greg Gianforte in the poll. Attorney General Tim Fox was next with 25 percent, and state Sen. Al Olszewski of Kalispell was third with 9 percent.

The race remains up for grabs, however, 32 percent of Montana GOP voters remaining undecided.

The Democratic field remains more wide open, with 62 percent undecided.

Current Lt. Governor Mike Cooney leads the field with 19 percent. Missoula businesswoman Whitney Williams, daughter of former Montana Congressman Pat Williams, was next with 11 percent. Montana Senate Minority Leader Casey Schreiner of Great Falls was third with 6 percent. Former state Rep. Reilly Neill of Livingston rounded out the field at 2 percent.

In the presidential race, people who identified themselves as Republican voters in Montana and Wyoming overwhelmingly would vote for President Donald Trump if the 2020 Republican presidential primary was held today. Eighty-eight percent of Montanans would vote for Trump again, along with 91 percent in Wyoming.

Democratic voters were asked the same question but with Dem candidates as options. U.S. Sen. Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts rose to the top in both Montana and Wyoming with 40 percent in Montana and and 82 percent in Wyoming. The next biggest category is people who are undecided at 25 percent in Montana and 16 percent in Wyoming.

When Montana Republicans were asked about the 2020 U.S. House of Representatives election, 44 percent were undecided, 32 percent were behind Montana state Auditor Matt Rosendale with 32 percent, and Montana Secretary of State Corey Stapleton polling at 22 percent.

On the Democratic side of the House race, Montana Democrats polled in favor of former Bozeman legislator Kathleen Williams with 69 percent, 25 percent were undecided, and 6 percent would vote for Simms rancher Matt Rains.

This is the first year that the poll included people in Wyoming. The people contacted were taken off of randomly generated telephone lists that were purchased by MSUB with scientific telephone samples based in Rancho Santa Margarita, Calif.

To see the full poll, click here.