Republican Rep. Steve Daines of Montana has a double-digit lead when matched up against both Democratic primary candidates in the race to replace Sen. Max Baucus, a new poll finds.
According to Public Policy Polling,
Daines currently has a 51-36 point lead over former Montana Lt. Gov. John Bohlinger and a 52-35 lead over the state's current Lt. Gov. John Walsh in the poll taken from Nov. 15-17 of 952 Montana voters
This is a significant change since June,
when Daines was down compared to all other Democrats 45 percent to 49 percent.
PPP cites the toxicity of Obamacare and President Barack Obama's own low approval rating of 37 percent as factors working against Democrats.
"Steve Daines started out as the favorite in this race," said Dean Debnam, President of PPP. "The problems with Obamacare, as well as President Obama's general unpopularity, have helped stake him to a larger advantage at this early stage of the campaign."
Democrats were frustrated by Bohlinger's decision to enter the race in early November, having already settled on Walsh as their candidate of choice.
Bohlinger switched from the Republican to Democratic party after he left office in 2012.
Baucus announced in April
that he would not be seeking his seventh term as Montana's senator. He has endorsed Walsh in the race to replace him.
Daines' lead comes in spite of a poor approval rating of 37 percent and 42 percent disapproving, which has dropped 13 points since PPP's last poll when his approval rating was 41-33.
PPP notes that Daines has much better name recognition in Big Sky Country over both Bohlinger and Walsh. Only 21 percent of Montana voters were unfamiliar with the current Montana congressman compared to 40 percent for Bohlinger and 52 percent for Walsh.
However, Walsh is leading Bohlinger 39-31, even though Bohlinger has a higher favorability rating of 54-18 compared to Walsh's 44-14.
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