UM Poll: Montanans Have Mixed Opinions on Elected Officials

March 18, 2019

MISSOULA – The University of Montana Big Sky Poll recently conducted its first-ever online poll. When asked to share views on the performance of their elected officials, the responses of 293 registered Montana voters were mixed.

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

Twenty-nine percent of registered voters think Trump is doing an excellent job, while 47 percent think he is doing a poor job. Fifty-nine percent of Republicans polled think the president is doing an excellent job, compared to 92 percent of Democrats polled who think he is doing a poor job.

Voters were split on their views of Tester, with 29 percent responding that he is doing an excellent job and 33 percent responding they think he is doing a poor job.

Nineteen percent of participants rated Daines’ job performance as excellent, and 23 percent rated it as poor.

Fifteen percent of Montana voters surveyed agree Gianforte is doing an excellent job, compared to 38 percent who think he is doing a poor job.

Three percent of voters rated the U.S. Congress as doing an excellent job, and 46 percent rated Congress as doing a poor job.

Montanans’ view of Bullock is evenly split, with 21 percent saying he is doing an excellent job and 21 percent saying he is doing a poor job.

Four percent think the Montana Legislature is doing an excellent job, while 12 percent think they are doing a poor job. Forty-one percent of voters selected good, and 43 percent responded with fair.

The Big Sky Poll was conducted online Feb. 21 through March 1, with 293 registered voters in the state of Montana. The poll has a margin of error of plus or minus 5.72 percentage points at the 95 percent confidence level. 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 Sara Rinfret, director of UM’s Master of Public Administration Program, and Justin Angle, UM associate professor of marketing, in conjunction with eight seminar students from UM’s MPA and business analytics programs.

The survey was commissioned with support from the UM Social Science Research Laboratory. The UM Big Sky Poll will be conducted on an ongoing basis, with its next iteration in fall 2019.

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

Full Results:

Disclaimer: Spring 2018 and fall 2018 were conducted via telephone survey. Spring 2019 was conducted online.

 

Table 1: Approval Ratings Over Time

 

 

Spring 2018

Fall 2018

Spring 2019

 

Ex.

Good

Fair

Poor

Ex.

Good

Fair

Poor

Ex.

Good

Fair

Poor

Trump

20%

23%

12%

41%

23%

21%

13%

43%

29%

16%

9%

47%

Tester

19%

27%

23%

25%

29%

26%

18%

27%

29%

22%

16%

33%

Daines

8%

26%

29%

26%

10%

27%

36%

27%

19%

28%

29%

23%

Gianforte

7%

23%

22%

37%

8%

26%

23%

43%

15%

23%

25%

38%

Congress

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

3%

16%

35%

46%

Bullock

13%

32%

32%

17%

15%

42%

26%

17%

21%

32%

26%

21%

MT Leg.

1%

18%

45%

21%

-

-

-

-

4%

41%

43%

12%

 

Table 2: Approval Ratings – President Trump

 

 

Overall Sample

Woman (Female)

Man (Male)

Urban

Rural

Dem.

Rep.

Ind.

Excellent

28.6%

29.8%

27.0%

26.7%

30.8%

-

58.7%

21.5%

Good

15.9%

14.6%

17.2%

15.9%

16.2%

2.6%

26.0%

16.1%

Fair

9.0%

9.9%

8.2%

8.5%

9.4%

5.1%

5.8%

14.0%

Poor

46.6%

45.6%

47.5%

48.9%

43.6%

92.3%

9.6%

48.4%

 

 

18 to 26

27 to 46

47 to 66

67 or older

Excellent

12.5%

33.3%

26.6%

31.3%

Good

25.0%

10.6%

15.6%

19.3%

Fair

12.5%

10.6%

7.8%

8.4%

Poor

50.0%

45.5%

50.0%

41.0%

 

 

Some High School

High School/

GED

Some College

Associate’s Degree

Bachelor’s Degree

Post-Bac. (Ph.D., J.D., etc.)

Excellent

33.3%

26.2%

29.6%

43.3%

29.3%

21.0%

Good

-

14.3%

19.8%

20.0%

14.7%

12.9%

Fair

33.3%

7.1%

4.9%

10.0%

13.3%

8.1%

Poor

33.3%

52.4%

45.7%

26.7%

42.7%

58.1%

 

Table 3: Approval Ratings – Sen. Tester

 

 

Overall Sample

Woman (Female)

Man (Male)

Urban

Rural

Dem.

Rep.

Ind.

Excellent

28.7%

28.2%

29.8%

29.5%

27.4%

63.3%

5.8%

28.0%

Good

21.7%

22.9%

19.8%

25.6%

16.2%

29.1%

14.4%

21.5%

Fair

16.3%

19.4%

11.6%

14.2%

18.8%

5.1%

21.2%

18.3%

Poor

33.3%

29.4%

38.8%

30.7%

37.6%

2.5%

58.7%

32.3%

 

 

18 to 26

27 to 46

47 to 66

67 or older

Excellent

33.3%

24.2%

26.4%

36.1%

Good

26.7%

19.7%

24.0%

19.3%

Fair

6.7%

24.2%

16.3%

10.8%

Poor

33.3%

31.8%

33.3%

33.7%

 

 

Some High School

High School/

GED

Some College

Associate’s Degree

Bachelor’s Degree

Post-Bac. (Ph.D., J.D., etc.)

Excellent

33.3%

35.7%

30.0%

6.7%

20.0%

45.2%

Good

33.3%

16.7%

25.0%

23.3%

22.7%

17.7%

Fair

-

28.6%

7.5%

26.7%

20.0%

9.7%

Poor

33.3%

19.0%

37.5%

43.3%

37.3%

27.4%

 

Table 4: Approval Ratings – Sen. Daines

 

 

Overall Sample

Woman (Female)

Man (Male)

Urban

Rural

Dem.

Rep.

Ind.

Excellent

19.4%

13.5%

27.9%

17.7%

22.0%

3.8%

33.7%

18.3%

Good

28.3%

33.3%

20.5%

28.0%

28.8%

21.8%

37.5%

23.7%

Fair

29.1%

32.2%

24.6%

30.3%

27.1%

28.2%

25.0%

35.5%

Poor

23.3%

21.1%

27.0%

24.0%

22.0%

46.2%

3.8%

22.6%

 

 

18 to 26

27 to 46

47 to 66

67 or older

Excellent

13.3%

13.6%

20.8%

22.9%

Good

26.7%

27.3%

26.9%

31.3%

Fair

53.3%

34.8%

28.5%

20.5%

Poor

6.7%

24.2%

23.8%

25.3%

 

 

Some High School

High School/

GED

Some College

Associate’s Degree

Bachelor’s Degree

Post-Bac. (Ph.D., J.D., etc.)

Excellent

-

11.9%

17.5%

28.1%

19.7%

22.6%

Good

33.3%

28.6%

33.8%

34.4%

23.7%

22.6%

Fair

-

33.3%

30.0%

28.1%

43.4%

9.7%

Poor

66.7%

26.2%

18.8%

9.4%

13.2%

45.2%


 

Table 5: Approval Ratings – Rep. Gianforte

 

 

Overall Sample

Woman (Female)

Man (Male)

Urban

Rural

Dem.

Rep.

Ind.

Excellent

14.9%

12.4%

18.7%

16.5%

12.9%

1.3%

31.7%

9.7%

Good

22.8%

25.9%

17.9%

19.3%

27.6%

5.1%

36.5%

22.6%

Fair

24.7%

27.6%

21.1%

26.1%

22.4%

20.3%

21.2%

32.3%

Poor

37.7%

34.1%

42.3%

38.1%

37.1%

73.4%

10.6%

35.5%

 

 

18 to 26

27 to 46

47 to 66

67 or older

Excellent

6.3%

14.9%

12.5%

19.5%

Good

43.8%

23.9%

21.1%

20.7%

Fair

18.8%

32.8%

21.9%

24.4%

Poor

31.3%

28.4%

44.5%

35.4%

 

 

Some High School

High School/

GED

Some College

Associate’s Degree

Bachelor’s Degree

Post-Bac. (Ph.D., J.D., etc.)

Excellent

-

11.9%

11.1%

26.7%

16.0%

16.1%

Good

33.3%

28.6%

25.9%

33.3%

17.3%

16.1%

Fair

33.3%

14.3%

27.2%

10.0%

40.0%

16.1%

Poor

33.3%

45.2%

35.8%

30.0%

26.7%

51.6%

 

Table 6: Approval Ratings – U.S. Congress

 

 

Overall Sample

Woman (Female)

Man (Male)

Urban

Rural

Dem.

Rep.

Ind.

Excellent

2.9%

4.1%

0.8%

3.4%

1.7%

1.3%

4.9%

3.2%

Good

16.0%

17.1%

14.0%

17.0%

14.7%

26.9%

15.5%

5.3%

Fair

35.0%

37.1%

32.2%

34.1%

36.2%

41.0%

30.1%

37.2%

Poor

46.1%

41.8%

52.9%

45.5%

47.4%

30.8%

49.5%

54.3%

 

 

18 to 26

27 to 46

47 to 66

67 or older

Excellent

6.3%

4.5%

2.3%

2.4%

Good

12.5%

30.3%

13.2%

8.4%

Fair

62.5%

37.9%

35.7%

26.5%

Poor

18.8%

27.3%

48.8%

62.7%

 

 

Some High School

High School/

GED

Some College

Associate’s Degree

Bachelor’s Degree

Post-Bac. (Ph.D., J.D., etc.)

Excellent

-

7.0%

3.7%

-

2.7%

1.6%

Good

33.3%

20.9%

19.8%

19.4%

12.0%

9.7%

Fair

-

44.2%

27.2%

22.6%

42.7%

37.1%

Poor

66.7%

27.9%

49.4%

58.1%

42.7%

51.6%


 

Table 7: Approval Ratings – Gov. Bullock

 

 

Overall Sample

Woman (Female)

Man (Male)

Urban

Rural

Dem.

Rep.

Ind.

Excellent

21.3%

19.4%

24.6%

21.6%

20.5%

43.6%

8.7%

18.1%

Good

31.7%

36.5%

24.6%

34.1%

28.2%

39.7%

25.0%

31.9%

Fair

25.6%

28.8%

21.3%

25.6%

25.6%

16.7%

30.8%

28.7%

Poor

21.4%

15.3%

29.5%

18.8%

25.6%

-

35.6%

21.3%

 

 

18 to 26

27 to 46

47 to 66

67 or older

Excellent

6.3%

16.7%

22.5%

25.3%

Good

25.0%

24.2%

33.3%

36.1%

Fair

56.3%

33.3%

22.5%

19.3%

Poor

12.5%

25.8%

21.7%

19.3%

 

 

Some High School

High School/

GED

Some College

Associate’s Degree

Bachelor’s Degree

Post-Bac. (Ph.D., J.D., etc.)

Excellent

33.3%

35.7%

18.5%

9.7%

16.0%

25.8%

Good

33.3%

28.6%

32.1%

25.8%

26.7%

40.3%

Fair

-

28.6%

24.7%

16.1%

30.7%

24.2%

Poor

33.3%

7.1%

24.7%

48.4%

26.7%

9.7%

 

Table 8: Approval Ratings – Montana Legislature

 

 

Overall Sample

Woman (Female)

Man (Male)

Urban

Rural

Dem.

Rep.

Ind.

Excellent

3.7%

4.1%

3.3%

4.5%

2.6%

6.4%

4.8%

1.1%

Good

41.3%

46.2%

34.4%

40.7%

41.9%

39.7%

50.0%

34.0%

Fair

43.2%

42.1%

44.3%

44.6%

41.0%

39.7%

39.4%

48.9%

Poor

11.8%

7.6%

18.0%

10.2%

14.5%

14.1%

5.8%

16%

 

 

18 to 26

27 to 46

47 to 66

67 or older

Excellent

13.3%

4.5%

3.1%

1.2%

Good

40.0%

36.4%

38.3%

51.2%

Fair

46.7%

47.0%

43.8%

39.0%

Poor

-

12.1%

14.8%

8.5%

 

 

Some High School

High School/

GED

Some College

Associate’s Degree

Bachelor’s Degree

Post-Bac. (Ph.D., J.D., etc.)

Excellent

-

7.1%

4.9%

3.2%

2.7%

1.6%

Good

33.3%

45.2%

42.0%

41.9%

36.0%

43.5%

Fair

33.3%

35.7%

42.0%

45.2%

52.0%

37.1%

Poor

33.3%

11.9%

11.1%

9.7%

9.3%

17.7%

 

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