There have been five polls conducted in North Dakota’s at-large House race in the last month, including the SAB/Valley News Live poll I released this morning, and together they show an average 8.6 point lead for the incumbent. A little lower than Republicans might be comfortable with, sure, but a big obstacle to a Democrat challenger in a Republican state running in a Republican-advantage year.
A week ago Sinner told supporters at a campaign stop in Jamestown that he wasn’t getting any support from the national party. Well, we don’t have to take his word for it. The Cramer and Sinner campaigns have filed their first 48-hour reports since their October quarterlies (the last full report before the election), and there’s no sign of the cavalry for the Sinner campaign.
All of Sinner’s contributions came from North Dakotans, while all but $2,000 of Cramer’s contributions came from inside the state.
Federal law requires that campaigns report all contributions over $1,000 within 20 days of the election.
The Sinner campaign has tried to spin ugly polling numbers by bringing up Senator Heidi Heitkamp’s razor-thin victory in 2012 when most of the polling predicted an easy victory for Republican Rick Berg. Indeed, when polling from the Fargo Forum came out showing Cramer with a substantial lead, they posted the now-famous picture of Heitkamp waving the Fargo Forum’s headline over her head:
The problem for the Sinner campaign is that in 2012, when the consensus of the public polling showed Heitkamp losing, Democrats continued pumping money into her campaign. That’s not happening for Sinner. His fundraising seems to have stalled, and there’s little outside spending in the race.
In 2012, a lot of people outside of the Heitkamp campaign believed she could win despite the polls and put their money where their mouths were.
That’s not happening for Sinner in 2014.