The Washington PostDemocracy Dies in Darkness

Polls shows GOP up big in Montana, narrowly behind in Iowa, N.H., Michigan

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Five new polls conducted for a group that supports the construction of the Keystone XL pipeline show Republicans with a big lead in the open Montana Senate race and knocking at the door but still trailing in open-seat races in Iowa and Michigan.

The surveys, from Democratic pollster Hickman Analytics, show Rep. Steve Daines (R) with a 49-37 lead over appointed Sen. John Walsh (D) in the Montana race. They also show the GOP down between one and six points in the other three states.

In Iowa, Rep. Bruce Braley (D) leads business Mark Jacobs (R) 43-42 and state Sen. Joni Ernst (R) 44-40.

In Michigan, Rep. Gary Peters (D) leads former secretary of state Terri Lynn Land (R) 42-37.

In New Hampshire, Sen. Jeanne Shaheen (D-N.H.) leads former Massachusetts senator Scott Brown (R) 49-43.

Iowa and Michigan, in particular, have emerged as top GOP targets as the national environment has become slightly more favorable to the GOP.

In the fifth poll conducted, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) narrowly leads Kentucky Secretary of State Alison Lundergan Grimes 46-45. Basically every poll has shown the Kentucky Senate race to be a virtual tie.

Previous surveys from the same pollster for the same group, BuildKXLNow.org, showed tight races in North Carolina and Arkansas, with the GOP slightly ahead in Louisiana.

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