Montana Politics 2012: New Polls!

The Flint Report has new polling numbers up on his website regarding Montana’s 2012 U.S. Senate race, the 2012 U.S. House race, and the 2012 Governor’s race.

Click HERE for all the information then come back for my analysis.

Polls are always interesting to read and examine. As you probably read, the poll was conducted on 400 “likely” Montana voters. The margin of error is +/- 4.65%.

So, let’s take a quick look at it!

Montana U.S. Senate 2012:

In the “big race” Congressman Denny Rehberg leads Senator Jon Tester 47-43% with 9% undecided. So if you factor in the margin of error for the poll, this race is very close. Also, with only 9% undecided, the battle lines have already been drawn – 20 months out.

In the partisan breakdown, Republican Rehberg draws more Democrats than Democrat Tester does Republicans. Rehberg gets 25% support from the Democrats whereas Tester receives 19% from Republicans.

In the very important “Independent” category, Tester leads Rehberg 47-44%. Both have favorable ratings over 50%, with Rehberg coming in at 57% and Tester at 53%.

Both candidates should make it through a primary race (if anyone decides to challenge them) and into the General Election. So, this race will probably be decided by which candidate can sway the Independents voters their way.

Montana U.S. House 2012:

In the U.S. House race, Republican Steve Daines leads Democrat Franke Wilmer 31-22% with 47% undecided.

Readers may remember my recent column called, “U.S. House Montana 2012: Who?” where I looked at the biggest problem facing the U.S. House candidates and that is nobody knows them. In the column I laid out a blueprint (for free) of what the candidates would need to do to get their name ID up.

With 47% undecided and with Daines having a “never heard of” number of 69% and Wilmer sitting at 78%, this race is ripe for a well-known person to jump into.

Montana Governor 2012:

In the Montana Governor’s poll for the GOP, Rick Hill comes in with 18%, Cory Stapleton has 8%, Ken Miller has 3% and Jim O’Hara has 2%. 71% are undecided.

On the Democratic side, Steve Bullock comes in with 38% and Dave Wanzenried has 6%. 56% are undecided.

The U.S. House race and the Governor’s race undecided numbers tell me that most people have not paid any attention to these races yet. No matter what, they will take backseat to the U.S. Senate race.

Favorable/Unfavorable/Never Heard of:

As for all the candidates after Rehberg and Tester, nobody much knows them. Steve Bullock has 27% favorable rating and a “never heard of” number sitting at 29% – so his Public Service Announcement (PSAs) are working for him. Rick Hill comes in at just 18% favorable, but 48% never heard of him. Everyone else is far worse. Hill has been out of the spotlight for several years, but I doubt his campaign figured this many people would say they never heard of him.

As for Bullock, he seems to be in the driver’s seat for the Democratic nomination if he wants in this race, but he can afford to wait to enter the race until the end because he is getting free publicity from his job as Montana’s Attorney General. Bullock will be tough to beat.

The Western Word is always happy to receive press releases and information from the office holders and candidates. Sometimes I will post or link to them; other times I will not. If I do post or link to them on my website, I may also offer my independent commentary. Contact me at:

2 thoughts on “Montana Politics 2012: New Polls!

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