UM Big Sky Poll Rates Job Performance of Elected Officials

October 08, 2018

MISSOULA – The University of Montana’s Big Sky recent Poll of 618 registered voters reports Montanans have mixed views of the job performances of their elected officials. The poll was conducted in August.

Montanans were asked how they would rate the job performances of President Donald Trump, U.S. Sen. Jon Tester, U.S. Sen. Steve Daines, U.S. Rep. Greg Gianforte and Montana Gov. Steve Bullock. Participants were asked to rank them as excellent, good, fair or poor.

  • Twenty-nine percent of registered voters think Tester is doing an excellent job in office, while 27 percent think he is doing a poor job in office. This is in comparison to 20 percent responding excellent and 41 percent responding poor during the Spring 2018 Poll.

  • Ten percent believe Daines is doing an excellent job, and 27 percent believe he is doing a poor job. This is in comparison to 8 percent who said he was doing an excellent job and 26 percent who said he was doing a poor job during the Spring 2018 Poll.

  • Forty-three percent of respondents believe Gianforte is doing a poor job in office. This is in an increase from the 36.8 percent stating he was doing a poor job during the Spring 2018 Poll.

  • Forty-two percent of voters rated Gov. Steve Bullock as doing good job in office. This is up from the from the Spring 2018 Poll, where 32 percent said they believe he was doing a good job.

When asked to rate Trump’s job performance, 41 percent of respondents said they believed he is doing a poor job and 20 percent said he is doing an excellent job. Forty-seven percent of registered voters in Montana’s top-five populated cities rated Trump’s job performance as poor, compared to 38 percent of rural voters.

Forty-eight percent of self-identified Republicans found President Trump to be excellent at his job, and 89 percent of self-identified Democrats rated his job performance as poor. Montanans’ job performance ratings of Trump have changed little since the Spring 2018 poll.

The August 2018 survey also asked likely voters who they would vote for if the mid-term election were held today.

Fifty-six percent of likely voters indicated they would vote for incumbent Democratic candidate Jon Tester for U.S. Senate, 32 percent would choose Republican candidate Matt Rosendale and 9 percent remain undecided.

In the race for Montana’s lone seat in the U.S. House of Representatives, 52 percent of likely voters sided with Democratic candidate Kathleen Williams, while 38 percent would choose incumbent Republican candidate Greg Gianforte, and 8 percent remain undecided.

“Some might consider these results outliers compared to private polling groups to date, however, as we teach our students, we are capturing registered voters’ perceptions at a moment in time,” said UM Professor Sara Rinfret, co-director of the Big Sky Poll. “Our survey is also the first in this election cycle to be conducted via phone calls versus online panels. It’s interesting to see how different polling methodologies are coming up with different results.”

She said the UM Big Sky Poll will poll the two statewide congressional races again in mid-October and release results before the Nov. 6 election.

The UM Big Sky Poll telephone survey was conducted Aug.13-31 with 618 registered Montana voters. The margin of error is +/- 4 percent at a 95 percent confidence level. Survey results were weighted by geography and gender to more accurately reflect demographics of the registered voter population in Montana. U.S. Congressional races reflect the responses of just Montana voters. The margin of error is +/-4.5 percent at a 95 percent confidence level with the same weighting.

Use of poll findings requires attribution to the UM Big Sky Poll. The poll collects and reports information about Montanans’ perceptions of local, state and federal issues. The Big Sky Poll is led by Rinfret and Justin Angle, UM associate professor of marketing, in conjunction with eight seminar students in UM’s Master of Public Administration and Master of Science in Business Analytics programs.

The survey was commissioned with support from UM’s Social Science Research Laboratory and the Office of Research and Creative Scholarship. The UM Big Sky Poll will be conducted on an ongoing basis, with more results to be released before the November 2018 election and its next full iteration in spring 2019.

Full results from the poll can be found on the UM Big Sky Poll website at http://umt.edu/bigskypoll.

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Table 1: Elected Official’s Approval Ratings

 

Tester

Daines

Gianforte

Bullock

Trump

Excellent Job

29%

10%

8%

15%

23%

Good Job

26%

27%

26%

42%

21%

Fair Job

18%

36%

23%

26%

13%

Poor Job

27%

27%

43%

17%

43%

 

Table 2: President Trump Approval Ratings by Demographic

 

Female

Male

Urban

Rural

Dem.

 

Repub.

 

Indep.

 

Excellent

Job

15%

30%

22%

26%

1%

48%

18%

Good Job

20%

23%

19%

24%

2%

37%

24%

Fair Job

15%

12%

13%

12%

9%

10%

17%

Poor Job

51%

36%

47%

38%

89%

5%

41%

 

Table 2 Cont’d., Education Level

 

 

Some high-school

High school/GED

Some college

Associate Degree

Bachelor

Degree

Post Bacc.

Other

Excellent Job

82%

33%

27%

29%

14%

11%

32%

Good Job

9%

21%

20%

20%

21%

18%

37%

Fair Job

20%

3%

0%

8%

3%

0%

0%

Poor Job

9%

30%

36%

41%

52%

61%

21%

 

Table 2 Cont’d., Age

 

 

18-26

27-46

47-66

67 or older

Excellent Job

8%

21%

30%

21%

Good Job

20%

21%

21%

20%

Fair Job

36%

16%

13%

8%

Poor Job

36%

43%

36%

51%

 

Table 3: Sen. Tester Approval Ratings by Demographic

 

Female

Male

Urban

Rural

Dem.

 

Repub.

Indep.

 

Excellent

Job

34%

23%

29%

29%

59%

4%

26%

Good Job

29%

24%

31%

18%

37%

9%

27%

Fair Job

17%

19%

13%

25%

3%

31%

23%

Poor Job

20%

34%

27%

28%

1%

56%

24%

 

Table 3 Cont’d., Education Level

 

 

Some high-school

High school/GED

Some college

Associate Degree

Bachelor

Degree

Post Bacc.

Other

Excellent Job

9%

17%

25%

27%

33%

42%

32%

Good Job

0%

24%

22%

27%

28%

35%

11%

Fair Job

9%

22%

21%

16%

20%

10%

16%

Poor Job

82%

37%

33%

30%

19%

14%

42%

 

Table 3 Cont’d., Age

 

 

18-26

27-46

47-66

67 or older

Excellent Job

37%

28%

22%

35%

Good Job

26%

24%

25%

28%

Fair Job

26%

24%

18%

15%

Poor Job

11%

25%

35%

23%

 

Table 4: Sen. Daines Approval Ratings by Demographic

 

Female

Male

Urban

Rural

Dem.

Repub.

Indep.

 

Excellent

Job

8%

10%

12%

7%

1%

25%

8%

Good Job

25%

30%

23%

34%

11%

41%

31%

Fair Job

39%

34%

36%

36%

37%

30%

37%

Poor Job

28%

26%

29%

23%

52%

3%

24%

 

Table 4 Cont’d., Education Level

 

 

Some high-school

High school/GED

Some college

Associate Degree

Bachelor

Degree

Post Bacc.

Other

Excellent Job

56%

12%

11%

14%

7%

4%

18%

Good Job

11%

33%

29%

18%

29%

27%

18%

Fair Job

33%

 34%

40%

42%

35%

29%

53%

Poor Job

0%

21%

20%

26%

29%

40%

12%

 

Table 4 Cont’d., Age

 

 

18-26

27-46

47-66

67 or older

Excellent Job

5%

4%

13%

11%

Good Job

11%

27%

26%

30%

Fair Job

63%

45%

33%

31%

Poor Job

21%

24%

28%

28%

 

Table 5: Rep. Gianforte Approval Ratings by Demographic

 

Female

Male

Urban

Rural

Dem.

Repub.

Indep.

Excellent

Job

6%

9%

8%

9%

1%

17%

4%

Good Job

23%

29%

23%

32%

3%

52%

25%

Fair Job

23%

25%

25%

20%

17%

25%

27%

Poor Job

49%

37%

45%

39%

79%

6%

44%

Table 5 Cont’d., Education Level

 

 

Some high-school

High school/GED

Some college

Associate Degree

Bachelor

Degree

Post Bacc.

Other

Excellent Job

36%

9%

8%

9%

5%

5%

19%

Good Job

27%

25%

34%

34%

26%

15%

44%

Fair Job

27%

31%

20%

25%

18%

26%

6%

Poor Job

9%

34%

38%

32%

51%

56%

31%

Table 5 Cont’d., Age

 

 

18-26

27-46

47-66

67 or older

Excellent Job

9%

10%

11%

5%

Good Job

17%

24%

31%

25%

Fair Job

26%

26%

21%

23%

Poor Job

48%

41%

38%

47%

 

Table 6: Gov. Bullock Approval Ratings by Demographic

 

Female

Male

Urban

Rural

Dem.

Repub.

Indep.

Excellent

Job

16%

13%

16%

14%

31%

2%

13%

Good Job

46%

40%

41%

45%

59%

25%

46%

Fair Job

25%

27%

26%

26%

9%

40%

28%

Poor Job

14%

19%

17%

16%

1%

33%

14%

Table 6 Cont’d., Education Level

 

 

Some high-school

High school/GED

Some college

Associate Degree

Bachelor

Degree

Post Bacc.

Other

Excellent Job

10%

11%

16%

6%

15%

25%

6%

Good Job

10%

34%

39%

40%

49%

47%

44%

Fair Job

20%

36%

21%

38%

23%

21%

38%

Poor Job

60%

19%

25%

16%

13%

7%

13%

Table 6 Cont’d., Age

 

 

18-26

27-46

47-66

67 or older

Excellent Job

20%

15%

10%

20%

Good Job

40%

40%

37%

48%

Fair Job

32%

30%

31%

20%

Poor Job

8%

15%

22%

13%

 

Table 7: If the Election Were Held Today for U.S. Senate, Which Candidate Would You Vote For?

Jon Tester

56%

Matt Rosendale

32%

Rick Breckenridge

2%

Undecided

9%

Table 8: If the Election Were Held Today for U.S. House of Representatives, Which Candidate Would You Vote For?

Kathleen Williams

51%

Greg Gianforte

38%

Elinor Swanson

3%

Undecided

8%

 

Table 9: If the Election Were Held Today, Who Would You Vote For?

U.S. Senate Candidates by Demographic

 

 

Female

Male

Urban

Rural

Dem.

Repub.

Indep.

Jon Tester

71%

53%

65%

58%

99%

7%

64%

Matt Rosendale

28%

43%

33%

40%

1%

90%

31%

Rick Breckenridge

1%

5%

3%

2%

0%

3%

6%

Table 9 Cont’d., Education Level

 

 

Some high-school

High school/GED

Some college

Associate Degree

Bachelor

Degree

Post Bacc.

Other

Jon Tester

0%

49%

56%

63%

67%

79%

25%

Matt Rosendale

80%

48%

44%

30%

30%

21%

75%

Rick Breckenridge

20%

3%

0%

8%

3%

0%

0%

Table 9 Cont’d., Age

 

 

18-26

27-46

47-66

67 or older

Jon Tester

83%

61%

54%

68%

Matt Rosendale

8%

36%

42%

31%

Rick Breckenridge

8%

4%

4%

1%

 

Table 10: If the Election Were Held Today, Who Would You Vote For?

U.S. House of Representatives by Demographic

 

 

Female

Male

Urban

Rural

Dem.

 

Repub.

 

Indep.

 

Kathleen Williams

63%

48%

57%

54%

97%

6%

52%

Greg Gianforte

34%

49%

40%

44%

2%

94%

41%

Elinor Swanson

3%

4%

4%

2%

1%

1%

7%

Table 10 Cont’d., Education Level

 

 

Some high-school

High school/

GED

Some college

Associate Degree

Bachelor

Degree

Post Bacc.

Other

Kathleen Williams

0%

45%

49%

54%

60%

74%

33%

Greg Gianforte

100%

52%

48%

39%

38%

21%

67%

Elinor Swanson

0%

3%

4%

7%

2%

5%

0%

Table 10 Cont’d., Age

 

 

18-26

27-46

47-66

67 or older

Kathleen Williams

55%

54%

48%

63%

Greg Gianforte

27%

41%

48%

36%

Elinor Swanson

18%

5%

4%

1%

 

Contact: Sara Rinfret, director, UM Master in Public Administration Program, 406-243-4702, sara.rinfret@mso.umt.edu.