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Montana Senate - Daines vs. Curtis

Candidates

Amanda Curtis

Amanda Curtis (D)

Bio | Campaign Site

Steve Daines

Steve Daines (R)

Bio | Campaign Site

Montana Snapshot

RCP Average:
RCP Ranking: Safe GOP
2014 Key Races: MT-AL

----------PAST KEY RACES----------

2012President | Governor | Senate | MT-AL
2010MT-AL
2008: President | Governor | Senate | MT-AL
2006: Senate | MT-AL
2004: President | Governor | MT-AL

Polling Data

PollDateSampleMoECurtis (D)Daines (R)Spread
Final Results------40.057.9Daines +17.9
RCP Average8/18 - 10/23----34.752.7Daines +18.0
CBS News/NYT/YouGov10/16 - 10/23497 LV6.03856Daines +18
MSU-Billings10/6 - 10/11410 LV5.03147Daines +16
Rasmussen Reports8/18 - 8/19750 LV4.03555Daines +20

All Montana Senate - Daines vs. Curtis Polling Data

Race Analysis

9/29/14 -- Nothing has changed the fundamentals of this race: Steve Daines remains a heavy favorite.

8/25/14 -- The Montana Senate race is simultaneously the subject of massive changes and overwhelming stability. The big news is that incumbent Sen. John Walsh dropped his re-election bid amidst evidence that he had plagiarized a paper from the Army War College in 2007. Rather than facing a quasi-incumbent, Republican Steve Daines will now face the Democrats’ hand-picked replacement candidate, state Rep. Amanda Curtis. Curtis brings a fresh face to the contest, but her outspoken nature and staunchly left-of-center views, many of which are publicly available in unvarnished form on her YouTube account, could cause her trouble in right-of-center Montana. This leads to the stability of the race: Steven Daines was a heavy favorite beforehand, and remains one today.

----------Race Preview---------

While Big Sky Country has been Republican at the presidential level for quite some time, at the state and local levels it has a strong Democratic streak extending back to the Progressive era. The western mountains are heavily unionized (Montana is one of the Mountain West states without a right-to-work law), and Democrats with a populist streak, like former Gov. Brian Schweitzer, are popular in the state. In fact, former Sen. Conrad Burns is the only Republican who has ever been elected to successive terms in Montana history.

Max Baucus was elected to the House from the old 1st District (which covered the western half of the state) in 1974. Four years later, after the death of Sen. Lee Metcalf, Baucus defeated appointed Sen. Paul Hatfield in the Democratic primary, before winning the general election by almost a dozen points. Baucus generally avoided a strong challenge, save for 1996 when then-Lt. Gov. Denny Rehberg held the senator to under 50 percent of the vote.

Baucus announced his retirement last year, and most observers expected Schweitzer to replace him. But Schweitzer opted not to run, and the Democrats’ positioning for the seat declined markedly. Their hopes rose when Baucus was appointed ambassador to China, allowing Gov. Steve Bullock to appoint Lt. Gov. John Walsh to the seat. But Walsh still trails Rep. Steve Daines in polling by a substantial margin.

Polling Data

PollDateSampleMoECurtis (D)Daines (R)Spread
Final Results------40.057.9Daines +17.9
RCP Average8/18 - 10/23----34.752.7Daines +18.0
CBS News/NYT/YouGov10/16 - 10/23497 LV6.03856Daines +18
MSU-Billings10/6 - 10/11410 LV5.03147Daines +16
CBS News/NYT/YouGov9/20 - 10/1549 LV5.03455Daines +21
CBS News/NYT/YouGov8/18 - 9/2684 LV5.03553Daines +18
Rasmussen Reports8/18 - 8/19750 LV4.03555Daines +20