Cowgirl Polling Average

Mason Dixon conducted a poll in Montana October 10-12 for Lee Newspapers, and the results are now being published in the state newspapers, a different race each day.  Based on what has been published in the Billings Gazette, here are the three top races:


Clinton-Trump-Johnson  36-46-11 President 

Juneau-Zinke-Breckenridge  40-53-1  Congress

Bullock-Gianforte-Dunlap  47-45-2 Governor


And based on what Cowgirl Blog has heard or seen, here are the three lower races:

Laslovich-Rosendale (Rosendale leads by 10)

Romano-Arntzen (Arntzen leads by 4)

Sanderfeur-Juras (Juras leads by 1)


A few things. First, Mason Dixon is historically has about a 3 point conservative bias.   Recall that in 2012 they predicted a Rick Hill victory by a nice margin as well as one for Dennis Rehberg, when in fact Hill and Rehberg both lost.  Mason Dixon also favored McCain in 2008 and Romney in 2012 nationally. 

Cowgirl Polling Average

If you are interested in where the races truly stand, especially the governor’s race, then you’ve come to the right place.  There has been a ton of polling by the various groups, parties and campaigns in all of these races and much of it comes to the attention of the Cowgirl Blog.  Dozens of polls since the spring tell the following story: Bullock had a solid lead throughout the spring and summer, as much as 8 points on average.  It then narrowed when Gianforte began spending big on TV, with a single poll even showing Gianforte up a point but the mean average of polls still showing Bullock up about 3 or 4.  Then in the last week the spread widened considerably, with Bullock now averaging about 6 point lead.  Factoring a roughly three point bias, the Mason Dixon poll is what you would expect it to be.  But again, it is a Republican leaning poll, and always has been.  

The Juneau Zinke spread in the Mason Dixon poll is greater than the average of surveys have shown.  At least one poll released by Paul Harstad, the prominent pollster from Colorado, has the Juneau race at four points, and generally from the many polls I’ve seen,  that race average out to about a 9 point Zinke lead, with a fair number of undecideds still remaining and thus the race still in play.  As for the Laslovich number, the only other polling data Cowgirl blog has obtained is from a Republican candidate in another race, and it shows only a four point lead for Rosendale.  That’s not entirely surprising given the amount of money that Rosendale spend on TV ads in his run for US Senate.  

And a word of caution: the down-ballot races have so many undecided voters that the polling numbers mean very little at this point, its almost not worth even mentioning them.  That’s because its harder to get the word out about these races: Supreme Court, Insurance Commissioner, Secretary of State, Chief State School Superintendent, Clerk of the Supreme Court, PSC.  Voters are less familiar with the offices. Candidates have to compete for coverage and funds with the more well-known races. And thus voters take longer to decide.  This is the case every election cycle. 

One thing is certain, however, which is that if you average many polls, you will get an accurate sense of a race.  No single poll can be relied upon.  That’s why polling aggregation sites such as are so dependable.  The Governor’s race right now is about a six point lead for Bullock, and we are basing that on the rolling results of about ten surveys over the last few months, and three in the last two weeks. And no, for those of you who might be alarmed that Republicans will somehow use all of this data for their own benefit, worry not: the GOP and the various campaigns all have their own polls, all showing roughly the same stuff, albeit within a wide range created by margin of error and methodology.

Finally, the MSUB poll will soon be published, which is one that is conducted by students.


25 Comments on "Cowgirl Polling Average"

  1. In polling currently being conducted by the Livingston Enterprise, Democrat Laurie Bishop is leading Republican Debra Lamm.

    • Woot! Woot! Bishop won the poll with 63% of the votes. Other exciting candidates to watch for in Park County are: Bill Berg (Commissioner D2); Brad Wilson (Commissioner D3); Maritza Reddington (Clerk & Recorder); and Martha Miller (Auditor).

      Let’s get out the vote!

  2. Cowgirl Polling Average(CPA) topic + scope = very important, need-to-know stuff about current news about Election Polling season in Montana.
    I’m looking at my Absentee Ballot and getting a whole lot more information out of the 50+ lines of CPA, than 50+ column inches about current Election Polling in Montana, in my local newspaper. 50+ inches of attribution to Partisan this, or Partisan that.
    What’s going on in the CPA Post? Montana Cowgirl conserving the operation of free press expression in the USA.
    The local Lee newspaper now endorses Sandefur for our Supreme Court.

  3. This is a horrible state to live in. Can’t believe we would return the horrible Zinke, who doesn’t even live here. And yes, I’m leaving.

  4. Good lord! If Mason Dixon is right I am totally out of sync with the rest of the state, except for Bullock winning. Might as well follow Leigh and move.

  5. My high school friends and I could not wait to get the hell out of Great Fallls and the stayte of Montana, then we could not wait to go back home. I guess I am back to square one and Montana sure doesn’t look like home anymore and hasn’t since the tea party storm troopers blew Montana off its axis.

    • Maybe this election can give you some hope, I do think Bullock will win, Juneau has a chance, and industry-candidate Juras is about to get her ass kicked.

      • I do hope you are correct and that the “biggliest ” deciever of them all, Trump, goes down as well. It has been difficult to explain this crazy election to my daughter who on her 18 the birthday exclaimed to me, “Mom,its my birthday today and guess what I get? I get to vote!”. She was so excited and then in the language of her generation- WTF?

  6. I feel like the republican candidates and elected ones, sometime in the past, decided Montana people were stupid enough they could move here and run the entire state. The scary part is—they may be right!

  7. Gloom and doom may not be called for yet. Remember that many Montanans refuse to talk to polsters. Montanans who answer their questions may do so to sway the race. That could explain the election-day surprizes in the past.

  8. Pollster’s don’t call on cell phones, all young people have cell phones. Few landlines left anymore. The young seem to be more liberal and broad minded.

  9. This is some gnarly stuff. Come Nov. 9 we may experience a high dose of shame, regret, revulsion…I could go on and on. Has Zinke ever smiled? He just wallows in his bad-ass image and contributes nothing to the good of the state. Juneau is a fantastic candidate but the Party totally dropped the ball on getting her out there and selling her.

  10. Ask yourself the below and then who will support your choice.

    1. Is America safer than it was 8 years ago?
    2. Is Hilary Clinton have the honesty and integrity to be the President of the United States.
    3. Who is more likely to hold Washington accountable?

  11. If Juneau loses, I hope UM hires her to replace Engstrom. Otherwise you can be sure she has a spot in the Clinton administration.

  12. Cool, along with Donna Brazile, Debbie Wasserman, and Loretta Lynch.

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