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Republican Senate Hopefuls

The Republican candidates vying to run against Sen. Jon Tester are, from left, Matt Rosendale, Russ Fagg, Troy Downing and Al Olszewski.

The campaign of Matt Rosendale, who is running in the Republican U.S. Senate primary, has released a poll commissioned by the conservative political action group Club for Growth, which has endorsed Rosendale.

The poll, conducted April 15-16, reached 503 likely Republican primary voters in Montana. It found that 89 percent of Republican primary voters have heard of Rosendale, who is the state auditor, and 59 percent have a favorable impression of him. The poll has a error margin of plus or minus 4.4 percent.

Montana's primary is June 5. The four Republicans are vying to run against Democrat U.S. Sen. Jon Tester, running for his third term.

The poll does not address name recognition for the other candidates: Big Sky businessman Troy Downing, former Billings judge Russ Fagg and state legislator and Kalispell doctor Al Olszewski.

The poll also shows that if the election were held now, 40 percent of Republican primary voters would cast their ballot for Rosendale. The next highest percentage of voters, 23 percent, were undecided. Fagg had 17 percent of the polled voters, Downing had 12 and Olszewski got 8 percent.

The poll also looked at what likely GOP primary voters who identify as "very conservative" thought about the candidate's own level of conservatism. Among the "very conservative" likely voters, which the poll says make up half of the primary electorate, 49 percent also found Rosendale to be "very conservative."

A combined 62 percent found Rosendale either "somewhat conservative" or "moderate."

Twenty percent of the "very conservative" voters said they were undecided about what other candidate was "very conservative." Thirty-one percent of that same group also said Rosedale was a "moderate" candidate. That was the highest in that category, followed by 26 percent undecided and 20 percent identifying Fagg as "moderate." 

The poll was done by WPAi Intelligence, which advocates for limited government. The information released by the Rosendale campaign is attached to this story.

On Tuesday the candidates released their quarterly fundraising reports, showing both Downing and Rosendale topping the $1 million mark, though of Downing's $1.2 million raised, $1 million has come from the candidate. During the first quarter of 2018, Downing brought in the most money, relying heavily on a loan from himself. Rosendale was next, with about $319,000, followed closely by Fagg at about $318,000. Oslzewski was a distant fourth in contributions.

On Wednesday night, April 18, the four men were scheduled to meet in a forum in Missoula hosted by the Missoula Republican Women. Doors were to open at 6:30 p.m.; with the forum at 7 p.m. at the Courtyard Marriott, 4559 N. Reserve St.

If you can't make it to that, the candidates are also scheduled for the following events:

Yellowstone County News Debate

Tuesday, April 24, 7 p.m.

Elks Lodge; 934 Lewis Ave., Billings

Greater Montana Foundation Forum

Thursday, April 26, 7 p.m.-9 p.m.

Montana Historical Society, 225 Roberts St., Helena

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State Bureau reporter for The Independent Record.

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