Kathleen Williams has opened a substantial cash advantage over Matt Rosendale in Montana’s U.S. House race.
The Bozeman Democrat reported $2.3 million in third quarter donations and $1.5 million cash on hand. Rosendale, Montana’s Republican state auditor, trailed by $1.1 million in third quarter receipts. He reported $1.2 million in total receipts and $608,247 cash on hand for the period ending Sept. 30.
Limited polling has shown the House race as competitive. A September New York Times poll showed Williams with a 3% lead and 44% approval among respondents to Rosendale’s 41%, with the race to be decided by independent voters. However, the Times described the poll as flawed because it included Green Party candidates that have been removed from the ballot. In the House race, the Green Party candidate received 2% support, but was removed from the ballot because it was Republicans that were responsible the signatures qualifying the Greens for the election.
The Cook Political Report lists the race for Montana’s only House seat as “leans Republican.” The Economist gives Rosendale a 55% chance of winning and predicts a vote share of 50.4%, while giving Williams a 45% chance and a predicted vote share of 49.6%. The race is tightening.
Democrats haven’t won Montana’s at-large House seat since 1994. Their best loss was 46.2% in 2018 when Williams lost to incumbent Rep. Greg Gianforte, who this year is the Republican candidate for Montana governor.
For the cycle, Williams has $4.76 million in receipts to Rosendale’s $3.25 million. If the fundraising trend holds, Williams would be the first Democrat in more than 20 years to outraise a Republican opponent in a Montana U.S. House race.
Republicans have dominated the at-large seat for all but two elections since the district was created in 1992. Prior to that, Montana had two House seats, but a low 1990 Census count cost the state. Democrat Pat Williams, no relation, won the seat in 1992 and 1994 before retiring.
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