Research 2000 for DailyKos (5/20-21, likely voters, no trendlines):
Gary Trauner (D): 44
Cynthia Lummis (R): 41
The poll has a sample of 48R-24D-28I. Exit polls from 2004 showed turnouts at 53R-25D-22I. If this shift from R to I is accurate, that’s a heartening sign, seeing as most independents these days lean Dem. Indeed, Trauner carries that group 58-32. He also fares far better among Dems (85-11) than Lummis does among Republicans (62-15).
These results are very similar to a Casper Star-Tribune poll from January, which had Trauner edging Lummis 41-40. Then as now, Trauner had more solid support from his own party than Lummis. However, the GOP hasn’t decided on a nominee yet, and won’t until late in the summer – August 19th, in fact. Lummis, a former Secretary of State, has to contend with rancher Mark Gordon, who has raised considerably more than she has – though the bulk of his haul actually consists of a $300K donation he made to his own campaign.
Markos didn’t poll a Trauner-Gordon matchup, but he may want to the next time R2K is in the field: a Gordon internal poll from earlier this month showed him up 39-23 over Lummis. That poll, though, showed 30% undecideds, and I’m going to bet that surveying likely voters for a primary in the dog days of summer is a very inexact science.
Depending on how divisive this primary gets, GOP support may or may not coalesce around the eventual nominee. Right now, Lummis at least seems pretty untarnished, with a 49-29 favorability rating. Trauner’s numbers are similar, 52-31, and he still has a little room for growth (17% have no opinion of him). He’ll need to hope that Republican support for his opponent, whoever it may be, stays soft, and he’ll also need to eke out some more votes from undecided independents. If Trauner can do that, lightning might just strike.
P.S. Bonus finding: McCain leads Obama 53-40. Kerry lost this state 69-29.