Gov. Doug Burgum (R) released an internal 1892 polling firm survey from mid-July (7/15-17; 500 ND likely voters) that gives him a very strong 62-33% lead over former US Senator Heidi Heitkamp (D). The same poll finds President Trump topping former Vice President Joe Biden, 60-34%. Since the survey’s release, Ms. Heitkamp has said she will not be a gubernatorial candidate, while Gov. Burgum indicates that he will “likely” seek re-election.
Earlier in the month, former Sen. Heidi Heitkamp (D) was peppered with reporters’ questions about whether she would challenge Gov. Doug Burgum (R) in the 2020 election. While denying interest, she did indicate that an announcement would soon be forthcoming about her professional future.
Yesterday, she informed the North Dakota public that she has accepted a position with the CNBC Financial News Network as a regular contributor. Therefore, it is highly unlikely that she will return to North Dakota in order to challenge a first-term GOP Governor with high approval ratings.
Fox News, polling through the Anderson Robbins survey research firm (D) and Shaw & Company (R), released new data for six US Senate campaigns. The only two with clear advantages for one candidate came from North Dakota where Republican challenger Kevin Cramer has a 53-41% lead over Sen. Heidi Heitkamp (D). The other finds Tennessee Rep. Marsha Blackburn (R-Brentwood) leading former Gov. Phil Bredesen (D), 48-43%.
The remainder are all clearly within the polling margin of error: Rep. Kyrsten Sinema (D-Phoenix) leading Rep. Martha McSally (R-Tucson) in the Arizona race, 47-45%; Sen. Bill Nelson (D) edging Gov. Rick Scott (R), 47-46%, in Florida; Indiana Sen. Joe Donnelly (D) posting a two-point lead over businessman Mike Braun (R), 43-41%; and, Missouri Sen. Claire McCaskill (D) and Attorney General Josh Hawley (R) tied at 43%, apiece.
A new NBC North Dakota News/Strategic Research Associates survey (released 10/1; 650 ND likely voters) finds at-large Rep. Kevin Cramer (R-Bismarck) now taking a ten-point, 51-41%, lead over Sen. Heidi Heitkamp (D). The principle reason for the larger lead is the Brett Kavanaugh Supreme Court nomination. According to this research, North Dakota voters support the judicial nominee by a 60-27% count. This puts Sen. Heitkamp in an even more difficult position as the confirmation vote nears. Currently, it appears the Senate leaders plan to hold the Kavanaugh floor vote on Friday.
Democrats and Republicans made their US House nominations official in the June 12th state primary, and Mason-Dixon Polling & Strategy yesterday released its at-large congressional race results from their new statewide survey (6/13-15; 625 ND likely general election voters).
According to M-D, state Sen. Kelly Armstrong (R-Dickinson) leads former state House Minority Leader Mac Schneider (D), 46-35%, on the ballot test question. Mr. Armstrong is getting 83% of the Republicans and just 3% of Democrats. Mr. Schneider polls a stronger 91% of Democrats but secures only 1% of the GOP voter base. Among the independents, Sen. Armstrong holds a 39-26% advantage. The winner replaces three-term Rep. Kevin Cramer (R-Bismarck) who is running for the Senate.
A new Mason-Dixon Polling & Strategy survey for the Valley News Service (6/13-15; 625 ND registered voters via live interview) finds at-large Rep. Kevin Cramer (R-Bismarck) leading first-term Senator Heidi Heitkamp (D) 48-44% on the statewide count.
Sen. Heitkamp has an advantage in the eastern part of the state, 47-44%, and runs up her score in the city of Fargo and Cass County. There, the Senator holds a substantial 54-35% margin. But, Congressman Cramer more than compensates for his deficit in the central and western sectors of North Dakota. He dominates in his home region in and around Bismarck, where he posts a 56-37% mark. In the western sector, he records a commensurate support level, 57-38%.
The North Dakota Secretary of State published a list of qualified state candidates yesterday, and predictions that the general election for the Senate race is already set came true. Such prognostications were made once Sen. Heidi Heitkamp (D) and at-large Rep. Kevin Cramer (R-Bismarck) both won unanimous endorsements at the state party conventions held within the past couple of weeks. Once the unified endorsements were made, the June 12th primary election for both parties appeared moot.
On the Democratic side, Sen. Heitkamp is now officially unopposed in the party primary, while Rep. Cramer sees only former Niagra Mayor Thomas O’Neill coming forward to challenge him for the Republican nomination. Therefore, the Heitkamp-Cramer general election is now a certainty.
Also seeing the at-large US House candidate list (see North Dakota Senate above), it appears certain that state Senator and former North Dakota Republican Party chairman Kelly Armstrong will face former state Senate Minority Leader Mac Schneider in the general election. Mr. Schneider is officially unopposed for the Democratic nomination, and Sen. Armstrong faces only two minor GOP candidates. State party convention delegate endorsements earlier this month gave the pair the inside track to a November ballot position, and such is being fulfilled.
Last weekend, state Senator and former ND Republican Party chairman Kelly Armstrong (R-Dickinson) won the official GOP endorsement at the state party convention. Sen. Armstrong defeated state Sen. Tom Campbell (R-Grafton) who had been actively campaigning for the Senate prior to US Rep. Kevin Cramer (R-Bismarck) doing an about face and stepping forward to challenge Sen. Heidi Heitkamp (D). Mr. Campbell quickly pivoted into the House race upon Rep. Cramer’s Senate announcement.
After losing the convention endorsement vote, Campbell promised to take the nomination fight to a primary, but now has changed his mind. Yesterday, he dropped out of the race and endorsed Sen. Armstrong. Now only minor candidates remain in a possible Republican primary. Therefore, it appears a certainty that Sen. Armstrong and former state Senate Minority Leader Mac Schneider (D-Grand Forks) will be the respective party nominees for the general election campaign in the open at-large House seat.
The North Dakota Democratic state convention was held this past weekend in Grand Forks. Delegates awarded official party endorsements for their two federal offices on the ballot in 2018, and both winners have clinched the nomination. In no surprise, Sen. Heidi Heitkamp (D) won endorsement for her re-election campaign. In the at-large House race, former state Senate Minority Leader Mac Schneider (D-Grand Forks) topped the delegate vote, and his opponents then quickly followed suit to profess their support for the man who defeated them. With no further opposition coming for the June 5th primary, Mr. Schneider will become the Democratic congressional nominee.
North Dakota Republicans head to convention next month. Currently, state Sens. Tom Campbell (R-Grafton) and Kelly Armstrong (R-Dickinson) are the announced at-large congressional candidates along with defense contractor Tiffany Abentroth, and businessman DeWayne Hendrickson. The eventual nominee will begin the general election as the favorite to succeed Rep. Kevin Cramer (R-Bismarck). The Congressman is leaving the House to challenge Sen. Heitkamp and is expected to clinch the Senate nomination at the Republican convention.
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