Matt Rosendale Leads by Double Digits in Montana Senate Republican Primary

August 29: Matt Rosendale (R) Montana during an interview at Roll Call in Washington, D.C. (Photo By Douglas Graham/CQ Roll Call via Getty)
Douglas Graham/CQ Roll Call via Getty

Rancher and state auditor Matt Rosendale leads his Montana Senate Republican primary opponents by double digits, according to a poll released Thursday.

“Montanans elected me to reduce spending, reduce regulations and defend our freedoms–and I did. The voters of our state support me because they know I mean business and have always served the way I said I would,” Rosendale said in a press release.

Rosendale has a two-to-one advantage over fellow GOP competitors; 28 percent of Republican primary voters would vote for him, compared to 12 percent for Troy Downing, while 11 percent would vote for Russell Fagg.

The poll also found that 78 percent of Montana Republican primary voters have heard of Rosendale. Forty-three percent of those who have heard of him have a positive image of the state auditor, compared to 14 percent who do not have a favorable view of the Republican candidate. Meanwhile, 55 percent of Montana primary voters have never heard of Russell Fagg, and 48 percent of state GOP voters never heard of Troy Downing.

The survey, conducted by WPA Intelligence, found that Rosendale remains the preferred choice for voters who identify as very conservative, somewhat conservative, and moderate.

Kendall Cotton, Rosendale’s campaign manager, said in a statement, “Montanans know and trust Matt Rosendale. With Matt’s broad base of grassroots support from primary voters, and endorsements from over 30 state elected officials, Matt Rosendale is better-positioned than any of his primary opponents to defeat Jon Tester in the fall general election.”

Matt Rosendale remains the sole Montana Republican primary candidate to have current members of the U.S. Senate endorse his campaign; well over 30 Montana elected officials have also endorsed him.

Sens. Rand Paul (R-KY), Mike Lee (R-UT), and Ted Cruz (R-TX) have all endorsed Rosendale to challenge Sen. Jon Tester (D-MT) in the 2018 Senate midterm election.

“Matt Rosendale is the type of fearless defender of liberty I want fighting by my side in the Senate,” Paul said. “Matt has proven himself a bold defender of our constitutional rights and he will make an excellent addition to the Senate.”

Sen. Cruz said in a statement, “Matt Rosendale has fought hard to shrink government and preserve liberty for Montana residents, during his time in the state legislature and more recently as a state auditor. It’s time to let Matt take that fight to Washington, we need strong conservative reinforcements in the Senate.”

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