President Trump campaigning with Matt Rosendale in Montana. Photo: Justin Sullivan/Getty Images

Here's one reason Republicans are feeling better about the Montana Senate race: a new internal poll for the National Republican Senatorial Committee (NRSC) shows Republican candidate Matt Rosendale leading Democratic Sen. Jon Tester by two points.

Why it matters: While this poll doesn't mean Democrats are certain to lose, they can't afford to give up this Senate seat in November. Montana's Senate seat is one of 10 Democrats are defending in states Trump won in 2016.

Two caveats to this poll: (1) the sample size is 600 likely voters around the state and (2) the margin of error is 4 points, meaning that Tester could, in fact, be ahead. And the Real Clear Politics average has Tester up by 5.5 points.

  • The poll also shows that Tester has a 49% favorable rating compared to Rosendale's 44%.
  • Illegal immigration is the top concern (24%) among the likely voters surveyed for this poll. That could help Rosendale fire up the Republican base in Montana, especially after President Trump tweeted "Democrats like Jon Tester continue to support the open borders agenda – Tester even voted to protect Sanctuary Cities. We need lawmakers who will put America First."

One more thing: Republicans control every statewide office in Montana, except for Tester's Senate seat and the governorship, per Real Clear Politics.

Go deeper

Updated 8 mins ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

  1. Global: Total confirmed cases as of 10:30 a.m. ET: 30,217,420 — Total deaths: 946,847— Total recoveries: 20,554,349Map.
  2. U.S.: Total confirmed cases as of 10:30 a.m. ET: 6,677,516 — Total deaths: 197,682 — Total recoveries: 2,540,334 — Total tests: 91,546,598Map.
  3. Politics: Trump vs. his own administration on virus response.
  4. Health: Massive USPS face mask operation called off The risks of moving too fast on a vaccine.
  5. Business: Unemployment drop-off reverses course 1 million mortgage-holders fall through safety netHow the pandemic has deepened Boeing's 737 MAX crunch.
  6. Education: At least 42% of school employees are vulnerable.
Dan Primack, author of Pro Rata
14 mins ago - Economy & Business

U.S. nutritional supplements retailer takes first step to sell to China’s Harbin Pharma

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

GNC Holdings, the Pittsburgh-based nutritional supplements retailer, received bankruptcy court approval to sell itself to China’s Harbin Pharma for $770 million, although the deal still faces U.S. political pressures over how GNC customer data is protected.

Why it matters: It's a reminder that the U.S.-China merger mess goes well beyond smartphone apps, with Sen. Marco Rubio asking for a CFIUS review.

Ben Geman, author of Generate
1 hour ago - Energy & Environment

Tallying Trump's climate changes

Reproduced from Rhodium Climate Service; Chart: Axios Visuals

The Trump administration's scuttling or weakening of key Obama-era climate policies could together add 1.8 gigatons of carbon dioxide equivalent to the atmosphere by 2035, a Rhodium Group analysis concludes.

Why it matters: The 1.8 gigatons is "more than the combined energy emissions of Germany, Britain and Canada in one year," per the New York Times, which first reported on the study.