Kevin Cramer Leads Heidi Heitkamp in AARP Poll of North Dakotans Over 50

Rep. Kevin Cramer, R-N.D., left, Sen. Heidi Heitkamp, D-N.D., share a light moment on statge during a question and answer session during the Lignite Energy Council's annual meeting at the Bismarck Event Center on Thursday, April 5. Mike McCleary / Bismarck Tribune

Senator Heidi Heitkamp’s and her political allies have invested a lot of money into messaging (of dubious veracity) claiming her opponent, Congressman Kevin Cramer, wants to cut Social Security and Medicare.

I had thought this was just the typical sort election year “Mediscare” tactics – accusing Republicans of wanting kick elderly people off of government programs is not exactly any innovative tactic for Democrats – but there may actually be some purpose behind it.

According to an AARP-commissioned survey of North Dakotan citizens over the age of 50, Congressman Kevin Cramer has a slight lead over Senator Heidi Heitkamp even despite weeks of pro-Heitkamp messaging accusing the Republican of being bad on issues important to seniors.

It’s a 3 point lead, with 9 percent undecided, and a much smaller lead than Republican House candidate Kelly Armstrong enjoys over Democrat Mac Schneider, but it’s still surprising given how much Democrats have invested in turning older voters away from Cramer:

Also interesting is that 53 percent of respondents approve of President Donald Trump’s job performance, and 63 percent disapprove of the job performance of Democrats in Congress (though, to be fair, that number is 51 percent for Republicans).

The full polling memo is below. It was conducted August 22-31 and included 806 respondents.

You can read about the methodology here, and see the list of questions here.

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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