Montana Senate race a toss up

Montana State University released its Treasure State poll Wednesday, Oct. 14. The results show the U.S. Senate race between incumbent Steve Daines and challenger Steve Bullock, the current, but term limited governor, is too close to call. The Treasure State poll shows Bullock ahead 49% to 47%.

The result is within the margin of error of 3.9%.

The race has been competitive since Bullock ended his long-shot bid for the Democratic presidential nomination and entered the race. Both candidates have come out on top in recent surveys, and other than one poll that had Daines up 9 points, neither has led by more than 3 points in polls since September.

Flathead Beacon senior reporter Tristan Scott looks at the race here, and Hatch Magazine shares the perspective of Montana anglers.

The poll showed close races in the other statewide races. In the governor's contest, current U.S. Rep. Greg Gianforte leads Lt. Gov. Mike Cooney by five points, 47% to 42%. In the race for the open seat for Montana’s U.S. Representative, Matt Rosendale leads Kathleen Williams by two points, 48% to 46%. 

The Treasure State poll is administered by the MSU Political Science Department.

Supe Court race has implications for Stream Access Law

This Billings Gazette story outlines the contest between attorney Mike Black and Justice Laurie McKinnon for a seat on the seven-member Montana Supreme Court. The winner receives an eight-year term on the court.

In a 5-2 decision in 2014, the court ruled in favor of the Public Land/Water Access Association's claim that the public had a right of way to access the Ruby River at three bridge crossings in Madison County. McKinnon was one of two justices who voted against access.