The folks at Axios have new polling out today showing Senator Heidi Heitkamp losing when matched up with a generic Republican candidate.
The polling (see all the questions here) shows the incumbent Democratic Senator, listed by NBC News as the most vulnerable Senate Democrat in the nation, at 57 percent approval:
But as you can see, Heitkamp is far behind Republican Senator John Hoeven (77 percent total approval to Heitkamp’s 57 percent), and when the poll matched the Senator up with an unnamed Republican candidate she’s not only below 50 percent but also two points behind:
The polling was conducted from February 12 through March 5 and included 821 responses from North Dakotans. You can read about the methodology here.
Why wasn’t Heitkamp matched up with Congressman Kevin Cramer, the presumptive Republican nominee in the race? He was saying he was going to stay in the U.S. House race until February 16 when he announced his U.S. Senate campaign.
It would have been interesting to see Heitkamp matched up specifically with Cramer in this poll.
Previous polling from Gravis Marketing showed Heitkamp with a slight 42.7 to 40.3 lead over Cramer.
Polling conducted by the Tarrance Group (sponsored by the NRSC) showed with a 5-point, 44-49 percent lead over Heitkamp.
As for the polling results themselves, I suppose there are two ways to look at it. The negative for Heitkamp is that she’s an incumbent losing to a generic Republican candidate 7 months and 29 days from election day. The positive is that Heitkamp is effectively tied with a generic Republican candidate in the same polling showing 60 percent approval for President Donald Trump, 77 percent approval for her Republican counterpart in the Senate, and 84 percent approval for Republican Governor Doug Burgum.
Heitkamp still has a lot of support from North Dakotans who are also willing to support Republicans. But she probably can’t afford to lose any of them.