The latest GOP polling shows Gianforte with a narrow lead. And for the first time, the President’s approval numbers have dropped underwater in this Trump-friendly state. A Republican poll conducted May 14-16 found just 46 percent of Montana voters viewing President Trump favorably, while 47 percent viewed him unfavorably. This, in a state where Trump won 56 percent of the vote, one of his strongest performances in the country.
Source: National Journal
We’ve been planning our coverage for the Montana special election for months, ever since then-Representative Ryan Zinke was nominated by President Donald Trump for Secretary of the Interior. Despite being a state that voted overwhelmingly for Trump, the Republicans lost the Gubernatorial contest in the same election by four points. Democrats have seen success in Senatorial elections as well, knocking off an incumbent in 2006 and re-electing the victor in 2012.
Greg Gianforte definitely has history on his side, at least for this office: Montanans have sent a Republican to the House in every election from 1996 forward, and only narrowly re-elected a Democratic incumbent in 1994. There have been a few close-ish contests, but nothing like what the internals are apparently saying. Thursday night will be an exciting affair, but just a warning for those of you on the East Coast: plan an early Memorial Day weekend, because the numbers won’t start rolling until after 10pm your time.