Republican Rep. Ryan Zinke recently got our attention when he launched a very defensive commercial in response to a spot from Democrat Denise Juneau that accused him of wanting to sell off Montana’s public lands, and proceeded to go up with another negative ad tying her to national Democrats. On Thursday, Zinke released a poll showing him with a big lead in his re-election campaign, hours before Juneau dropped her own survey arguing she was only narrowly trailing him.
We’ll start with Zinke’s poll. The Moore Information survey from early October gives him a wide 49-38 lead, and Zinke’s camp says that three other polls conducted for them since June show similar things. Juneau’s team soon released a Harstad Strategic Research poll that also showed Zinke ahead, but by just 45-42. The poll was conducted Sept. 20-25, about a week before Zinke. They also reference an unreleased Democratic survey from a different pollster, GBA Strategies, that reportedly showed Zinke up 49-41 in mid-September. Presidential toplines were not included for any of these three polls. (Frustratingly, they also didn’t include any numbers for Montana’s gubernatorial race, where we have yet to see a single poll all year.)
It’s clear that Zinke is in the lead, but it’s very tough to know which poll is closer to the truth. Zinke has the luxury of running for re-election in a conservative state and so far, there’s no sign that major national groups have reserved any money for this race, which would support the idea that Zinke is positioned to win. However, Juneau is a strong fundraiser, and Zinke is certainly acting like he has something to be afraid of. We’ll see if outside groups from either side get involved in the next month, or if they continue to avoid this contest.
Let's send Denise Juneau to Congress. Please chip in $3 for her today.
Election Day is fast approaching, and we need all hands on deck. With the PCCC and Daily Kos, no matter where you live, you can call key voters in districts where progressive Democrats are in tight races. Click here to get started.