HELENA — Two of Montana’s three federal representatives and Gov. Steve Bullock have a higher job approval rating among Montana voters than does President Donald Trump, according to new polling data from the University of Montana.

According to the UM Big Sky Poll, 47 percent of Montanans rate the president’s job performance “poor,” versus 45 percent who consider it “excellent” or “good.”

More voters give “good” or “excellent” marks to Bullock (53 percent), Sen. Jon Tester (51 percent), and Sen. Steve Daines (47 percent), though the numbers for Tester and Daines are within the poll’s margin of error relative to the president’s approval rating. Fewer (38 percent) approve of U.S. Rep. Greg Gianforte’s job performance.

Montana voters are significantly less negative about all four of Montana’s first-tier elected officials than they are about the president, with 21 percent giving “poor” marks to Bullock, 33 percent to Tester, 23 percent to Daines, and 38 percent to Gianforte.

UM Big Sky Poll results. Eric Dietrich / MTFP

The poll also assessed what Montana voters think of U.S. Congress and the Montana Legislature, indicating that the latter has better approval.

Only 12 percent of voters rate the job performance of the state Legislature, currently in its 2019 session, as “poor,” compared to 46 percent who say the same thing about the U.S. Congress. Only 4 percent of voters give the state Legislature full-fledge “excellent” marks.

The poll, conducted by UM professors Sara Rinfret and Justin Angle, reached 293 registered Montana voters between Feb. 21 and March 1 using an online survey. The researchers say the results have a margin of error of 5.7 percentage points.

That margin means the reported figures are considered likely accurate within a roughly 12 point range. Trump’s 47 percent “good” or “excellent” rating, for example, means his actual approval rating in Montana is probably between 41 and 53 percent — provided, that is, the poll successfully surveyed a representative sample of the state’s voters.

The full results, and more information about methodology, is available on the UM website.

Eric Dietrich is a journalist and data designer and the founder of the Long Streets economic reporting project. His reporting focuses broadly on Montana’s governance and economic opportunity, with particular focus on the state budget and tax policy. He also contributes data reporting across the MTFP newsroom. Before joining the MTFP staff in 2019, he worked for the Great Falls Tribune, Bozeman Daily Chronicle, and Solutions Journalism Network and also earned an engineering degree from Montana State University. Contact Eric at edietrich@montanafreepress.org, 406-465-3386 ext. 2, and follow him on Twitter.