New Senate Candidate Isn't Improving Democrats' Chances In Montana, Poll Finds

08/20/2014 01:39 pm ET | Updated Aug 20, 2014

Sen. John Walsh's (D-Mont.) decision to withdraw from his Senate race has steepened Democrats' already uphill battle to hang onto his seat, according to the first survey including new nominee Amanda Curtis, a 34-year-old state representative.

A Rasmussen automated phone survey found Curtis trailing Rep. Steve Daines (R-Mont.) by 20 points, taking 35 percent to his 55 percent.

Thirty-five percent of voters said they hadn't heard of Curtis or were undecided about her, with the remainder evenly split between favorable and unfavorable views. Fifty-eight percent had a positive view of Daines, with 32 percent rating him negatively.

Walsh, who was appointed to the Senate in February, withdrew from the race after allegations that he plagiarized parts of his master's thesis in 2007. Polls taken before he dropped out showed him trailing Daines by an average of 11 points.

Rasmussen used automated phone calls to survey 750 likely voters Aug. 18-19.

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