During the 2012 election cycle, Democrats made a stink about Republican Rick Berg not releasing any polling in his 2012 race against Heidi Heitkamp. With 20/20 hindsight, we know why Berg wasn’t releasing polling data. It probably showed that he was losing, or at least that the race was very close. Heitkamp went on to win that race.
So what’s interesting is that now, in the 2014 cycle, North Dakota Democrats have chosen to release polling which shows the down-ballot Agriculture Commission race to be a close one (other polling from the conservative Brighter Future Alliance has shown Goehring with a substantial lead, for what it’s worth). What is interesting, by its omission is polling from the top-of-the-ballot race between incumbent Republican Rep. Kevin Cramer and Democrat challenge George Sinner.
Clearly, the higher priority for North Dakota Democrats this cycle is the Agriculture Commission race, not the US House race. That’s the race they’re trying to build a “horse race” narrative around, not the House race.
It doesn’t speak very highly of their confidence in Sinner as a candidate who can upset Cramer, does it?
For what it’s worth, the only polling available in the US House race – again from the conservative Brighter Future Alliance – showed Cramer with a nearly 20 point lead over Sinner.
To be fair, I think the agriculture commission race is going to be a horse race. I think incumbent Republican Doug Goehring, who won election to the office in 2010 with nearly 70 percent of the vote, is going to have his hands full with Democrat challenger Ryan Taylor.
But as far as the House race goes, it seems clear that not even Democrats see it as much of a race. At least judging by their actions as opposed to their words.