Heitkamp’s Polling Numbers Improve Slightly, Plurality Still Say It’s Time to Elect Someone Else

Sen. Heidi Heitkamp is cheered on by delegates at her nomination for the United States Senate Saturday at the ND Democratic convention. Photo by Eric Hylden/Grand Forks Herald

Since about February the polling has not been good for incumbent Senator Heidi Heitkamp. Not only have independent media polls consistently shown a 4 – 5 point lead for her challenger, Congressman Kevin Cramer but her approval number’s in Morning Consult’s monthly polling have plummeted over the last year.

But there is, finally, some good news for Heitkamp in the latest approval numbers from Morning Consult. Her approval is back up to 47 percent, from a low of 44 percent last month, and the number of poll respondents who say it’s tome to elect someone else has shrunk slightly.

The bad news is that the polling still isn’t exactly good for an incumbent Democrat seeking re-election in a state with a heavy Republican advantage. Her approval number is at 47 percent, still below 50 percent, and while the number of people who say it’s time to elect someone else has dropped 4 points it still represents a strong plurality of respondents: 46 percent say it’s time for someone else, just 39 percent say Heitkamp should stay on the job.

Heitkamp was bleeding in this poll. It seems the bleeding, in these last results, has stopped.

You can read the full polling memo from Morning Consult’s midterm battleground survey below. Here’s a graph showing the trend in Heitkamp’s approval numbers in the poll:

Another interesting tid-bit from the poll is this ranking of the top issues for voters in North Dakota. Security and the economy take the top two spots, followed by health care and senior issues:

Now think about these issues in the context of the messaging we’re seeing in the Senate race. The Cramer campaign has been hammering Heitkamp on the top two issues, pointing out Heitkamp’s vote against tax reform and for sanctuary cities. Heitkamp and her surrogates, meanwhile, have been talking about second two issues including criticism of a lawsuit challenging the legality of Obamacare and Cramer’s supposed support for cutting the Social Security and Medicare programs.

Though, to be fair, Heitkamp has also spent a lot of time focused on the trade issue, which is a big economic issue in our part of the world.

Rob Port is the editor of SayAnythingBlog.com, a columnist for the Forum News Service, and the host of the Rob (Re)Port on Fargo-based WDAY AM970 from noon-2pm weekdays.

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