I have more polling data available today courtesy of DFM Research taking a look at how North Dakotans see their political leaders and institutions.
You can read the full report, complete with all the cross-tabs and other info, below but here’s a summary of the findings:
The only real surprise I saw here was the approval for the Legislature and “your state legislator.” Normally the phenomena we see with that sort of a question is respondents generally approving of their representatives, but disapproving of the legislature as a whole. That’s how, at the national level, Congress can have an approval rating in the single-digits even as most of the incumbents get re-elected.
But here in North Dakota citizens seem satisfied with both their individual lawmakers and the legislative body as a whole. Though I have one quibble with the polling question. Every North Dakotan is represented by three legislators: Two members of the House and one Senator. The question really should have been plural.
Still, it’s remarkable that the approval for the legislature is so high. Democrats have invested a lot of political capital in promoting the concept of a “Republican supermajority” in the legislature which is out of touch. Clearly, that narrative isn’t getting a lot of traction.
The most humorous part of the results? That the Democrat Party is seen about as unfavorably as the Tea Party Movement which Democrats brand as dangerous extremists.
The favorable/unfavorable for the politicians came out about as I’d expect. North Dakotans really don’t like Barack Obama. They love John Hoeven.
Heitkamp and Dalrymple have strong approval numbers. Cramer enjoys much smaller levels of approval, which is typical for a member of the U.S. House who must run on the ballot every cycle. Hoeven hasn’t been on the ballot since 2010 (and didn’t face much of a candidate when he was). Neither Heitkamp nor Dalrymple have been on the ballot since 2012. Cramer was on the ballot a few months ago.
Of note in Cramer’s results is his unfavorables aren’t that much higher than Heitkamp’s (who, in turn, is higher than both Hoeven and Dalrymple). Cramer has a lot more people who are neutral about him and say that he’s an unknown.
That makes sense, I suppose, in that Cramer’s campaign in 2012 was overshadowed by the titanic battle between Heitkamp and Republican Rick Berg in the Senate race, and his 2014 race against George Sinner wasn’t very competitive.
The polling was conducted between January 17- 26, 2015, and included 5,700 North Dakota residents contacted via both landlines phones (4,000) and cell phones (1,700). Here’s the full polling memo: