U.S. Senate 2012 (MT): The Polls

In case you missed it, a new Rasmussen Reports poll was released yesterday showing current Congressman and candidate for U.S. Senate Denny Rehberg with a 47-43 lead over incumbent Senator Jon Tester in the Montana Senate race.  It received little attention in the media and was mentioned just a few times on Twitter.

According to this chart on the Real Clear Politics website, Rehberg has been leading in the last 9 out of 11 polls.

As we head into “crunch time” for the November elections, Team Rehberg has to be pleased.  As for Team Tester it is not panic time, but with 9 out of the last 11 polls showing him trailing, he just might start cranking up his campaign a notch or two or he may be a “one and done” senator.

According to the release from Rasmussen, “Five percent (5%) prefer some other candidate, and five percent (5%) are undecided” in the Rehberg/Tester matchup.  They margin of error, +/- 4.5 percentage points.  Rasmussen interviewed 500 likely voters for the poll.

In a June 2012 poll done by Rasmussen, only four percent (4%) total preferred some other candidate or were undecided.  In August 2012, that is 10% (total).  Maybe the barrage of campaign ads is having a negative effect on the race.

One thing missing in the poll was Rasmussen asking about the third candidate (by name) in the race, Libertarian Dan Cox.  Cox will take more votes from Rehberg, so Team Tester has that to bank on.  They are probably hoping that Cox mounts a viable campaign and gets some media attention.  I imagine some third-party group will help Cox get noticed through a television ad or with mailings (which in turn would help Tester).

In Montana, absentee ballots are due to be mailed October 9, 2012, – that’s just 48 days from today (August 22).  Campaign workers who just read that are saying, “OMG!”  The week after October 9 will be “hell week” for campaign workers (and for those of us who receive our ballots via U.S. mail).

Since this race is a toss-up and probably will be that way for the remainder of the campaign, the candidate who can get most of their supporters to “turn-out” to vote will probably win it.  Of course, one of them could say something stupid and end it right there…

I love polls!  I’ve received several automated calls this year asking me to participate in a poll.  I do participate – I just give them a different answer each time, or I pick my favorite number and push it for each answer…

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