President Trump The Most Popular, Gov. Bullock Second, Among Elected MT Officials, Poll Finds

Oct 26, 2018

President Donald Trump speaking at a rally in Great Falls, Montana on July 5, 2018. He also made campaign stops in Billings and Missoula on behalf of Republicans Matt Rosendale and Greg Gianforte.
Credit Jackie Yamanaka/YPR

The MSU-MTN Poll asked registered voters to rate the job performance of the President Donald Trump and Montana’s top elected officials and Trump was at the top. A political analyst said it explains why Republican congressional candidates are tying their campaigns to the president, but there are risks.

The poll found nearly 55% of respondents strongly approve or approve of how President Donald Trump is doing on the job.

screen capture: http://helpslab.montana.edu/documents/Issues_Overview_Final_24Oct2018.pdf
Credit http://helpslab.montana.edu/documents/Issues_Overview_Final_24Oct2018.pdf

Pollster David Parker said while Democratic incumbent Jon Tester has a slim lead, essentially it’s a toss-up with his Republican challenger Matt Rosendale. 

That’s why Rosendale is counting on a coat-tail effect to win over undecided or independent voters.

Parker said a deep dive into the survey results showed independents aren’t as enamored with Trump or the Trump tax cuts. Another factor he said, 60% of independents say they approve of  incumbent Senator Jon Tester’s job performance, although Democrat’s overall job approval rating among all respondents is nearly 49%.

screen capture: http://helpslab.montana.edu/documents/Issues_Overview_Final_24Oct2018.pdf
Credit http://helpslab.montana.edu/documents/Issues_Overview_Final_24Oct2018.pdf

“So you put this all together, you’re getting a picture here of essentially Matt Rosendale thinks the way he can win is to rally all the Republicans to him. The problem is if those independents show up that’s a massive advantage for Jon Tester because they like him and it could help Kathleen Williams down ballot so it’s a high risk strategy,” he said.

Parker said two issues that are resonating among those surveyed is concern about illegal immigration and strong support for public lands. He said that’s why there are so many political ads on these issues.

As for the job approval rating for the rest of the top elected- officials in Montana: 

http://helpslab.montana.edu/documents/Issues_Overview_Final_24Oct2018.pdf
Credit http://helpslab.montana.edu/documents/Issues_Overview_Final_24Oct2018.pdf

Democratic Governor Steve Bullock was at the top at just over 54%:

http://helpslab.montana.edu/documents/Issues_Overview_Final_24Oct2018.pdf
Credit http://helpslab.montana.edu/documents/Issues_Overview_Final_24Oct2018.pdf

Republican U.S. Senator Steve Daines at just over 53%

http://helpslab.montana.edu/documents/Issues_Overview_Final_24Oct2018.pdf
Credit http://helpslab.montana.edu/documents/Issues_Overview_Final_24Oct2018.pdf

Congressman Greg Gianforte rounded out the pack at just over 48% of respondents giving him a favorable job approval rating.