The New UM Big Sky Poll was released on Tuesday and the preliminary results show that Montana is still a red state, in that Republican candidates, for the most part, are outdistancing their Democratic opponents at this point.

Sara Rinfret, Professor and Chair of the Department of Public Administration and Policy at the University of Montana, and co-director of the UM Big Sky Poll provided the highlights of the new poll.

“About 56 percent of said they would vote for Donald Trump,” she began. “Leading the pack for the Senate race is Democrat Governor Steve Bullock, slightly ahead of incumbent Republican Steve Daines. When you look at the House of Representatives, Republican Matt Rosendale is leading Democrat Kathleen Williams. For Montana Governor, Republican Greg Gianforte is leading Democrat Lieutenant Governor Mike Cooney.”

One caveat with the preliminary poll just released was how many voters hadn’t completely made up their minds.

“I think the most interesting thing, especially with the governor’s race and the House of Representatives race is that about 10 to 18 percent of respondents still don’t know who they’re voting for, so I think regardless, we know that with Montana politics, these races are going to be very tight,” she said.
Rinfret described the random sample of registered voters who responded to the latest Big Sky Poll.

“We do have a random sample,” she said. “There were 571 people and we asked through a variety of different screens to see if they are Montana registered voters, and then we weight for gender, education and geography to make sure that the results are accurately representing the population of Montana.”

Rinfret said another Big Sky Poll will be released Monday which will contain questions about COVID 19 and preferences on how Montanans want to cast their ballots, either by mail or at the traditional polling place.