Poll: Cramer Leads Heitkamp by 5 Points in Senate Race

Rep. Kevin Cramer, R-N.D., was called to the podium in Bismarck in May 2016 by presidential candidate Donald Trump, who cited Cramer's energy expertise and early backing in his quest for the Republican Party nomination for president. File photo by Tom Stromme / Bismarck Tribune

Earlier this week I wrote about a poll from Gravis Marketing which, based on internet surveys, showed incumbent Senator Heidi Heitkamp with a slight lead over Republican challenger Kevin Cramer.

Today the Tarrance Group is out with polling – backed by a partisan source, the NRSC specifically – showing Cramer with a five point lead. It was conducted February 18 – 20 and surveyed 500 “likely” North Dakota voters.

The full polling memo is below, but here are the results everyone is going to be interested in:

The poll also took a look at the favorability of each candidate. Heitkamp and Cramer were essentially tied there, at least with their top number (Heitkamp 54, Cramer 53). But in terms of net favorability – the difference between those seeing the candidate favorably and those seeing the candidate unfavorably – Cramer has the edge. He’s at a +24 while Heitkamp is at a +16.

The memo notes that the trend for Heitkamp’s favorability is heading in the wrong direction (for her, anyway):

The poll also says that key Democratic figures from the national stage are (shocker!) unpopular in North Dakota. Nancy Pelosi is seen unfavorably by nearly 60 percent of poll respondents.

Caveats to this data apply. Any single poll should be taken with a grain of salt. And again, this polling was backed by a partisan source – the NRSC, specifically.

But the Tarrance Group does have a solid reputation. According to the pollster ratings at FiveThirtyEight.com, the Tarrance Group has a “B” score with an 83 percent accuracy rating.

Here’s the full polling memo.

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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