According to new polling released by Morning Consult, Democratic Senator Heidi Heitkamp has seen a significant drop in her approval numbers as she begins what will likely be the toughest re-election campaign of her political career.
Not only did the Senator see a nine point drop in her net approval rating in the first quarter of 2018 – which comes on top of an 11 point drop in the fourth quarter of 2017 – but the number of North Dakotans saying they approve of her job performance is now under 50 percent.
Morning Consult releases this polling quarterly. The most recent results – based on surveys conducted online from January 1 through March 31 – show 47 percent of North Dakotans approving of Heitkamp and 39 percent disapproving. North Dakota’s other Senator, Republican John Hoeven, has 57 percent approval and 26 percent disapproval.
For Heitkamp, it’s been an ugly trend over the last four quarters of this poll. Back in July of 2017 she was at 60 percent approval 28 percent disapproval. Since then her approval number has fallen a whopping 13 points, while her disapprove number has climbed 11:
The Senator’s net approval rating (the difference between her approve/disapprove numbers) has fallen from a +30 to a +8, a 75 percent decline in the last four quarters:
This doesn’t appear to be some regional trend. Montana Senator Jon Tester, who is also up for re-election in a pro-Trump state, saw a 16 point increase in his net approval rating. Nor does this appear to be a North Dakota thing. Approval numbers for both Senator John Hoeven and Republican Governor Doug Burgum – also included in these surveys – improved slightly over the last quarter (unfortunately Morning Consult hasn’t been polling for Congressman Kevin Cramer who is Heitkamp’s opponent this cycle).
This trend appears to be very much tied to Heitkamp.
Those hoping to elect Heitkamp to a second term in the U.S. Senate should be very, very concerned.