Survey of 500 Likely Voters
October 26, 2006

Election 2006: Montana Senate
Jon Tester (D) 51%
Conrad Burns (R) 47%
Election 2006: Montana Senate
Three-Poll Rolling Average
Surveys Tester Burns
Oct 11-Oct 18-Oct 26 49% 45%
Sep 20-Oct 11-
Oct 18
49% 44%
Sep 13-Sep 20-Oct 50% 43%
Aug-Sep 13-Sep 20 50% 44%
Jul-Aug-Sep 13 50% 44%
May-Jul-Aug 48% 45%
Apr-May-Jul 47% 45%
Mar-Apr-May 46% 45%
Feb-Mar-Apr 45% 45%
Election 2006: Montana Senate
Date Tester Burns
Oct 26 51% 47%
Oct 18 48% 46%
Oct 11 49% 42%
Sep 20 50% 43%
Sep 13 52% 43%
Aug 8 47% 47%
Jul 6 50% 43%
May 11 48% 44%
Apr 11 44% 47%
Mar 14 46% 43%
Feb 7 46% 46%
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Montana Senate: Tester Holds Slim Lead Over Burns
Tester (D) 51%; Burns (R) 47%
Democrat John Tester

The campaign of Republican Senator Conrad Burns has inched forward in recent few weeks. But the third Rasmussen Reports poll this month of Montana's closely watched U.S. Senate race shows that Democrat Jon Tester is still slightly ahead, 51% to 47% (see crosstabs).

When leaners are included, it’s Tester by three, 51% to 48%.  

Montana remains in the Toss-Up category for our Senate Balance of Power summary.

Tester led by seven points on October 11, and by just two on October 18.

We have polled this race more than a dozen times in 2006 and Senator Burns has never reached the 50 percent level of support in any of them. Tester has hit or passed that mark four times now, including three of our last five polls.

Still, Montana is generally a Republican leaning state. Despite the difficult political environment for the GOP in 2006, 50% say they'd vote for the Republican if their vote would determine which party controls the Senate. Just 47% say they'd vote to put Democrats in charge.

Montana is also a battleground state—one of a handful most likely to decide which party controls the Senate--and Republicans are doing what they can to put Burns over the top.

A few weeks ago, it appeared as if the national party had written off Burns’ chances. Now, as the Burns has cut into Tester’s lead, President Bush and Vice President Cheney are expected to campaign here soon. Former Senator Bob Dole has also done so in recent days, stressing the value of the incumbent's seniority. (Burns is seeking his fourth term.)

By a small margin, voters tend to trust Republicans more than Democrats on the economy. By a 51% to 40% margin they also trust Republicans more on Iraq.

Half of all voters and 84% of Republicans say the economy is in good or excellent shape. Most Democrats (58%) say it's no better than "fair."

Crosstabs are available for Premium Members only.


Rasmussen Reports is an electronic publishing firm specializing in the collection, publication, and distribution of public opinion polling information.

The Rasmussen Reports ElectionEdge™ Premium Service for Election 2006 offers the most comprehensive public opinion coverage ever provided for a mid-term election. We update the President's Job Approval Ratings daily and are polling competitive Senate and Governor's races at least once a month in 2006.

Rasmussen Reports was the nation's most accurate polling firm during the Presidential election and the only one to project both Bush and Kerry's vote total within half a percentage point of the actual outcome.

During Election 2004, RasmussenReports.com was also the top-ranked public opinion research site on the web. We had twice as many visitors as our nearest competitor and nearly as many as all competitors combined.

Scott Rasmussen, president of Rasmussen Reports, has been an independent pollster for more than a decade.

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