GOP strategists say the race between Republican Greg Gianforte and Democrat Rob Quist to fill a House seat from Montana is closer than it should be, Politico reported.
The special election will be held Thursday and both Republicans and Democrats say the gap between the two candidates is narrowing, according to the website.
"Gianforte has an edge, but it's not going to be a slam dunk," said one national GOP strategist.
And Montana Democratic Party Chairman Jim Larson added: "It is a lot closer than people ever though it would be."
Politico noted Gianforte has regularly led in polls leading up to the election. However, Quist has cut the lead to single digits, Politico reported, citing private polling.
The seat in Congress opened when President Donald Trump picked Rep. Ryan Zinke to be secretary of the interior, ABC News reported. The GOP has held the seat for the last two decades, the network news said.
"Democrats are hoping a surprise win will energize their base, boost their national fundraising numbers and invigorate activists hoping to tip the entire U.S. House blue during the 2018 midterm elections," ABC News' Ryan Struyk writes.
"Meanwhile, Republicans are hoping to hang onto yet another House seat and block the narrative that Trump's unpopularity might hurt down-ballot Republicans in 2018."
Vice President Mike Pence held a rally for Gianforte on May 12, while Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., has spent time in Montana campaigning for Quist.
"The fact that we're talking about Montana — a super red seat — is amazing," said John Lapp, who led the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee for the 2006 cycle.
But Sen. Steve Daines, R-Mont., added: "Rob Quist is too liberal for Montana — he is very liberal. Democrats who have won statewide in Montana tend to be moderate, and Quist is no moderate."
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