Rasmussen Poll Shows Steve Daines With Strong Senate Race Advantage, Few Undecided
On March 17 and 18, Rasmussen surveyed 750 likely Montana voters about the 2014 U.S. Senate race and found that Republican candidate Steve Daines is starting with a huge advantage.
"Looking at these numbers as somebody who is far away from Montana, this is Daines's race to lose," Said Managing Editor of Rasmussen Reports Fran Coombs while speaking with Voices of Montana host Aaron Flint. He is well ahead of both the democratic candidates--of course, they'll have their primary in June--and then the race will probably narrow at that point because it'll be a clear one-on-one race, but right now, Daines is in very good position."
The poll showed Daines beating Democrat candidate John Walsh in a head-to-head match with 51 percent to 37 percent. Montana voters also showed strong support for the Keystone XL pipeline and strong opposition to the affordable care act. Coombs said that opinions across the board seem to favor Republicans.
"We also ask a question about do you prefer a bigger government with more services and higher taxes or a smaller government with fewer services and lower taxes, and Montana voters overwhelming preferred a smaller government," Coombs said. "In every case, the majority of Montana voters came down on the side of an issue that benefits Daines and works against the two democrats."
MSU political science professor David Parker noted a few surprising details in the study including the extremely low percentage of undecided voters (just 9 percent) this early in a senate race.
Another surprise was how similar the Democrat primary candidates matched-up against Daines. A head-to-head with Democrat candidate John Bohlinger was very similar to the Daines/Walsh match-up: Daines pulled 52 percent, while Bohlinger 34 percent. The difference in Daines' leads, 14 points vs. Walsh and 18 points vs. Bohlinger, is within the poll's four percent margin pf error.