My good friend Dean Mitchell at DFM Research sent me some polling data for the presidential race in North Dakota today.
I’ve commissioned a poll from DFM in the past, and he’s conducted research for the North Dakota Democratic Party, Senator Heidi Heitkamp’s 2012 campaign, and other clients in the state. Mitchell and his firm have a good track record for accuracy here.
The results are pretty interesting. Not surprisingly Trump is winning the state by a strong margin over Clinton, but only with a plurality. That is surprising because North Dakota is a deeply Republican state, with a typically strong partisan bias, which has voted for the Republican presidential candidate since LBJ.
That Trump isn’t over 50 percent, with 48 days left until election day, tells me that he’s weak in the state. Not so weak that he’ll lose, of course. I think North Dakota will go to Trump easily, but still. These numbers seem soft.
Libertarian candidate Gary Johnson is at 8 percent, while Green Party candidate Jill Stein (who is facing charges related to vandalism at the Dakota Access Pipeline protest in the south central part of the state) is at 1 percent. There were 16 percent of poll respondents who were undecided:
Here are some interesting tid-bits from the demographic breakdowns:
- Trump and Clinton are essentially tied among women, 37-34, while the Republican is dominating among men 53-26.
- In what was a big surprise to me, Trump did really well among younger voters. In the age 21-46 demographic he’s blowing out Clinton 46-21. In the 40-64 demographic it’s closer with Trump leading 42-38. Among the 60+ crowd the two are essentially tied with Clinton at 38 and Trump at 39
- Trump has big leads in the western part of the state, and the central rural area. He and Clinton are essentially tied in the eastern rural part of the state, while Clinton has a surprisingly small 6 point lead in the eastern cities.
Granted this is just one poll (albeit one from a source with a good track record in this state), but to the extent that it paints a picture of where North Dakota is at on this race right now, I think you can say that Trump is weak overall compared to past Republican candidates but performing better than you’d expect in some areas (among the young, etc.).
The full polling memo is below. The poll was conducted September 12-17 and included 400 respondents. It has a margin of error of +/- 4.9 percent.