Poll: Cramer Leads Heitkamp 51 – 41, Respondents Name Kavanaugh as Their Top Issue


FILE -- Rep. Kevin Cramer (R-N.D.), right, speaks at a campaign rally as President Donald Trump looks on at Scheels Arena in Fargo, N.D., June 27, 2018. In a threat aimed at Trump, Charles Koch said his grass-roots network, Americans for Prosperity, would not support Cramer in the 2018 midterm elections. (Tom Brenner/The New York Times)

New polling commissioned by NBC North Dakota News shows Congressman Kevin Cramer leading Senator Heidi Heitkmap by 10 percentage points.

According to the poll, which surveyed 650 likely voters September 17 – 27, Cramer is supported by 51 percent while Heitkamp is at 41 percent.

Here’s a run-down of the publicly available polling in the Senate race today. While all but one of the polls this election cycle have shown Cramer with a lead, this one is by far the largest:

Interestingly, poll respondents listed the confirmation fight over Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh as their top issue. As you can see from this graphic, it’s not even close:

According to the poll, 60 percent of respondents support Kavanaugh. Which tells us that the vicious opposition to Trump’s nominee from Senator Heitkamp’s political party may be hurting her.

The survey was conducted by Strategic Research Associates, an organization I’ve never heard of before. The folks at FiveThirtyEight.com don’t have them graded, either, so I’m not sure how much stock to put into this particular survey.

Though, to be fair, I’m not sure how much stock to put in any survey at this point in the cycle. I suspect the reality of the Senate race is that it’s close (certainly much closer than a 10 point Cramer lead), and opinions among the undecided are very fluid. Things could break either way, very quickly.

Remember that in 2012, when Heitkamp was first elected to the Senate, there was polling out weeks before election day showing her Republican opponent with a 10 point lead. She went on to win the race.

Still, the fact that Cramer has consistently led every single public poll in this race going back to February makes me think it’s his race to lose at this point.