MINOT, N.D. — This spring U.S. Sen. John Hoeven, one of the most popular elected officials in state history, got a surprising challenge from the populist fringe of his own party.
State Rep. Rick Becker received an eyebrow-raising 44% of the vote at the state convention, leading many political observers in the region to wag chins about what this means for Hoeven’s enduring popularity.
I’ve argued that it doesn’t mean much . The NDGOP’s convention process — wherein small and easily manipulated gatherings at the local level endorse local candidates and choose delegates to the state convention — is broken.
Stacked conventions are producing results that are out of step the views of the larger Republican electorate.
Why didn’t Becker continue on to the June primary vote after the convention? Because a statewide vote on his nomination would have shattered the illusion of his popularity . His paltry fundraising numbers, as reported to the FEC, which included itemized donations from just 35 individuals , are also evidence of this.