President poll

HELENA — Republican Mitt Romney has a 10-point lead over President Barack Obama in Montana, a Gazette State Poll taken last week shows.

It showed Romney leading Obama, a Democrat, by 53 percent to 43 percent, with 2 percent undecided and 2 percent for Libertarian candidate Gary Johnson.

“Montana’s pretty safely in the Romney column,” said Brad Coker, managing director of Mason-Dixon Polling & Research, which conducted the poll.

A total of 625 registered Montana voters who said they plan to vote in this year’s election were surveyed Oct. 29-31 by the polling company in cellphone or land-line interviews. The poll has a margin of error of plus or minus four percentage points, but higher for subgroups such as a gender or region.

The poll results are only slightly higher than in a Gazette State Poll on Sept. 17-19 in which Romney was at 51 percent, Obama at 42 percent, with 5 percent undecided and 2 percent for Johnson.

Results found that men favor Romney 58 percent to 38 percent, while women back Romney 49 percent to 47 percent.

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By political party, 97 percent of Republicans back Romney while 94 percent of Democrats support Obama. Romney leads among independents, 53 percent to 36 percent.

By region, Romney leads Obama in the Eastern Montana media market, 69 percent to 27 percent; the Billings media market, 63 percent to 34 percent; the Great Falls media market, 51 percent to 44 percent; and the Missoula/Kalispell market, 52 percent to 45 percent.

Obama tops Romney only in the Butte/Helena/Bozeman media market, 51 percent to 44 percent.

Among independents, 53 percent were for Romney and 36 percent supported Obama.

In 2008, Obama ran a competitive race in Montana but lost to Republican nominee John McCain, 49 percent to 47 percent. In that race, Obama’s campaign spent a lot of money in Montana with paid staffers, TV advertisements and a host of volunteers.

Obama’s campaign didn’t mount a similar campaign here this year.

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