The Sinner campaign has been quietly touting a poll showing him with a small two point lead over Kevin Cramer to selection national media reporters and his fundraising email list. Of course, that poll has a problem in that it claims to have sampled registered voters in North Dakota which doesn’t have voter registration.
The Sinner campaign hasn’t exactly been forthcoming about that problem. “I didn’t conduct the poll so I’m not sure what happened there,” Sinner campaign spokeswoman Hannah Johnson told me on Monday before saying she’d get back to me with details. It’s Thursday now, and I’m still waiting for those details. Also, the Sinner campaign hasn’t exactly touted their poll publicly. It’s yet to be released on their campaign website or social media accounts.
Maybe the registered voters problem is the reason why.
Meanwhile, the Cramer campaign is releasing some polling of their own. Two polls, in fact. One conducted by Odney Advertising (polling memo here), which is doing marketing for Cramer’s campaign, and the other released by WPA Opinion Reseach for the National Republican Congressional Committee (polling memo here).
Both polls show Cramer with a 10 point lead over Sinner, but let’s be clear with a disclaimer here. Neither Odney nor the NRCC are objective sources in this race. Also, neither are releasing specifics about their polls. We’re only getting summary information.
But, for what it’s worth…
This is from the Odney poll which included Libertarian Party candidate Jack Seaman:
Results of the poll show that Republican Cramer leads with 45% of North Dakota voters. Trailing Cramer is Democrat George Sinner with 35% and Libertarian Jack Seaman with 3%. Cramer leads in both the Fargo and Bismarck media markets, with men and women, with Republicans and with adults age 18 to 35 and age 35 to 54. Cramer also has an edge in Independents and votes age 55 and older.
This is from the WPA poll, which did not include Seaman but does include some demographic breakdowns. Sinner and Cramer are tied among female voters, according to the poll, but Cramer dominates Sinner among men. That’s a pretty big deal in North Dakota where the population is trending more male.
Both polls contain some geographic breakdowns as well.
“Cramer leads in both the Fargo and Bismarck media markets, with men and women, with Republicans and with adults age 18 to 35 and age 35 to 54,” the Odney polling memo reads.
The WPA poll is a little more specific:
What can we conclude from this polling? It’s hard to say. The polling in the 2012 election seemed to indicate that Rick Berg was going to defeat Heidi Heitkamp pretty easily, but we all know what happened there. Also, this is shaping up to be a weird election year in North Dakota. The turnout in the June primary was historically low, and a raft of 8 ballot measures most of which are hotly contested may bring out some unusual vote trends.
Still, it’s telling that Cramer is publicly announcing multiple polls showing strong leads while Sinner is quietly touting a seemingly flawed poll only in fundraising pitches.
If anything, that speaks volumes about the mindsets of the two candidates. One of them seems confident that he’s winning, and the other doesn’t.
Update: Per the comments, Seaman was polled in the WPA ad.