What Happened in the Montana Senate Election? (2018)

Please note: The analysis below is based on an initial estimate of the 2018 electorate. Catalist released an updated analysis of the 2018 electorate in May 2019.


December 20, 2018

Author: David Margolis, Deputy Director of Analytics

  1. In an environment of lagging Republican enthusiasm, converting a significant share of the Republicans who did vote, along with many Independent voters, to support him
  2. Maximizing his support among more traditional elements of the Democratic coalition, including young voters, single voters, and those in urban areas
  3. Mitigating historical deficits among more challenging audiences, including voters without a college degree and voters in rural communities

As another vital element of the Democratic coalition, single voters (both women and men) supported Tester by a margin of 20 points in 2018. By comparison, Clinton lost this group by 5 percentage points in 2016. Among single women, in particular, Tester led by 30 points, compared to Clinton’s narrow 5 point lead in 2016. Among single men, the 8 point margin enjoyed by Tester in 2018 was a 25 point improvement from Clinton’s level of support the cycle prior.