Montana Election Poll: Half of State’s Residents Say Economy is Top Issue

By Beacon Staff

An early look at voters’ views of Tuesday’s elections, according to preliminary data from exit polling conducted in Montana for The Associated Press and television networks:

WHAT’S ON YOUR MINDS: About half of Montana voters say the economy is the top issue facing the country, and most don’t think it’s in good condition.

When given a choice, almost half said the biggest economic problem is rising prices, and about 3 in 10 said it was unemployment. About 1 in 5 said it was taxes. Just a handful picked housing.

Voters were divided almost equally into thirds among those who think the economy is getting better, those who think it’s getting worse and those who think it’s staying about the same.

MIND MADE UP: About three-fourths of voters decided on their pick for president before September. Only a small percentage decided in the final days before Election Day.

WHAT’S IN A LABEL: About 2 in 5 Montana voters identify themselves as conservative, about 2 in 5 see themselves as moderate, and 1 in 5 identify as liberals.

CHOOSING A SENATOR: Roughly 7 in 10 voters said that when choosing whether to vote for Republican challenger Denny Rehberg or Democrat U.S. Sen. Jon Tester, it was very important which party controls the U.S. Senate.

The survey of Montana voters was conducted for AP and the television networks by Edison Research. This includes preliminary results from interviews conducted as 1,407 voters left a random sample of 25 polling places statewide Tuesday. Results for the full sample were subject to sampling error of plus or minus 4 percentage points; it is higher for subgroups.

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