Friday, October 21, 2011

New poll shows Bullock ahead of Hill in governor race

Posted By on Fri, Oct 21, 2011 at 10:58 AM

Bullock
  • Bullock
A poll conducted earlier this month by Project New West shows Attorney General Steve Bullock, a Democrat, with a four-point lead over former U.S. Rep. Rick Hill, a Republican, in the 2012 race for Montana governor.

Politico obtained a memo with the details of the Dem-sponsored poll:

Bullock enjoys a larger advantage on personal favorability, with 32 percent of voters giving him a positive rating, compared to just 17 percent for Hill. Still, in each case, a majority of voters registered no opinion or were neutral. Bullock is better known statewide, with 61 percent able to identify him, compared to just 50 percent who know Hill.

The memo, provided to POLITICO, argues that Hill has a problem with "upside-down" favorability.

"This is the third public poll that shows more Montana voters have an unfavorable opinion of former Congressman Hill than a favorable opinion of him," the Democratic Governors Association memo states. "Before nearly two-thirds of voters even know who he is, he's already seen as unlikeable by over half those who do."

The poll was conducted Oct. 2 - 4, and involved 500 voters. A Hill spokesperson thought the whole thing was bunk.

Hill
  • Hill
It should be noted that Hill, while considered the front-runner, faces a crowded Republican primary. State Sen. Jeff Essmann, wolf guy Bob Fanning, national security guru Neil Livingstone, former DOT chief Jim Lynch, state Sen. Ken Miller, real estate investor Drew Turiano, county commissioner Jim O'Hara, and former state Sen. Corey Stapleton are also in the race.

Current Gov. Brian Schweitzer terms out in 2012 and can't run again. The poll, incidentally, showed Schweitzer with a 56-percent favorability rating, highest among state officials.

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