Poll: Montana Senate Race Neck and Neck

Recent polling data from J.L. Partners, obtained by several Montana news outlets, sheds light on the closely contested U.S. Senate race in Montana. The race pits incumbent Democratic Senator Jon Tester against Republican newcomer Tim Sheehy, with results showing a tight competition.

According to the poll, Sheehy currently holds a slight lead over Tester, with 48% of respondents favoring him compared to Tester’s 45%. Notably, 7% of those surveyed remain undecided. The margin of error for the poll is 4.3%, indicating the race is within a statistical dead heat.

Gender and age breakdowns reveal interesting trends. Sheehy leads among men by 9 points, while Tester maintains a 3% advantage among women. Older voters tend to favor Sheehy, with 52% of those aged 51-64 and 50% of those 65 and older supporting him. Conversely, Tester performs better among younger voters, with 52% of respondents aged 18-35 backing him.

Independents, a crucial demographic in the race, lean towards Tester by 10 points, but Sheehy manages to capture a significant portion of this group, contributing to his overall lead.

When it comes to key issues, respondents rank inflation and the economy as the most pressing concern, followed by border security and illegal immigration, and threats to democracy. Partisan divisions are evident, with Republicans prioritizing inflation, the economy, and border security, while Democrats emphasize threats to democracy and economic issues. Independents align more closely with Republicans on economic concerns.

The poll also highlights the importance of undecided voters, who prioritize economic issues similar to Sheehy supporters, except on the topic of abortion.

Conducted between March 26-29, the poll surveyed 503 likely voters using various methods and ensured representative data through quotas and weighting.

Sheehy’s campaign views the results optimistically, citing Montanans’ desire for an outsider who prioritizes common-sense solutions. They frame the race as a rejection of the Biden-Tester agenda and express confidence in Sheehy’s ability to secure victory in November.

An earlier poll from the same organization showed Republican respondents favoring Matt Rosendale over Sheehy, but Rosendale has since withdrawn from the race, leaving Sheehy as the leading Republican contender.

Overall, the poll underscores the competitiveness of the Montana Senate race and the significance of undecided voters in determining its outcome.

By: Montana Newsroom staff