HELENA — A poll released Friday shows Montana voters largely favor the state ballot initiatives in Tuesday's election and they want the Legislature to crack down on medical marijuana and drunk driving.
The Montana State University-Billings also found that nearly 60 percent of voters are undecided in the race for a Montana Supreme Court seat. Those who picked a candidate were evenly split between attorney Beth Baker and district court judge Nels Swandal, with each getting support from about 20 percent of the respondents.
The phone survey of 416 voters conducted Oct. 19-22 has a sampling error margin of 5 percent. It is the first public poll in advance of Tuesday's election.
The initiatives put on the ballot this year by voters through the signature-gathering process appear to be getting favorable support.
Constitutional Initiative 105 — a ban on new real estate transfer taxes that is backed with a lot of money from realtors and business groups — was supported by about 61 percent and opposed by 30 percent with the rest undecided.
A measure to cap payday loan costs, Initiative 164, had support of 63 percent and opposition from 22 percent.
Initiative 161, which would abolish 5,500 outfitter-sponsored hunting licenses and charge nonresident hunters more was favored 52 percent to 32 percent.
But the ballot question on whether to call a new constitutional convention, which automatically appears on the ballot every 20 years, was opposed 53 percent to 32 percent.
It did not poll the state's top-of-the-ticket congressional race because MSU-Billings political scientist Craig Wilson, running the poll, said his son is working in that matchup.
Other poll results:
• Nearly 50 percent said they favor Republicans in upcoming state legislative races, while 35 percent favor Democrats and 16 percent are undecided.
An overwhelming number, 92 percent, believe that sending text messages while driving should be illegal.
• Full repeal by the Legislature of the state's medical marijuana law was favored 47 percent to 37 percent, with 16 percent undecided.
• There was overwhelming support for the Legislature to let police take blood-alcohol tests from drunken driving suspects.
• Legalizing gay marriage was opposed 52 percent to 34 percent, with 15 percent undecided.
• About 40 percent said the tea party reflects their opinions either moderately or a great deal. But 50 percent said the tea party either does not reflect their views or only seldom does.