Republicans Say Polling Last Week Shows Cramer up 11 Over Heitkamp

FILE-- Rep. Kevin Cramer (R-N.D.) at a campaign rally with President Donald Trump at Scheels Arena in Fargo, N.D., June 27, 2018. Candidates covet an appearance with Trump in areas loyal to him, but large swaths of the country where he is unpopular have become virtual no-go zones for him. (Tom Brenner/Copyright 2018 The New York Times)

The most recent publicly available polling in North Dakota’s hotly contested Senate race was a Strategic Research Associates survey which showed Cramer up 16 points.

A number of people, mostly Heitkamp supporters, sought to throw dirt on the poll. And I might be inclined to give their arguments against the numbers some credence if it weren’t for the fact that the results, in the context of previous polls, make sense.

Here’s a table of all the polling in this race complied by the folks at FiveThirtyEight.com (which currently gives Cramer a nearly 70 percent chance of winning):

Heitkamp has led in a poll this election cycle just once. It was a within-the-margin-of-error lead back in February. Since then, it’s been all Cramer.

Given that the SRA poll showing the +16 lead for Cramer was a) in line with other polls showing him with a double-digit lead and b) conducted amid a brutal news cycle for Heitkamp which included stories about how her campaign outed sexual assault survivors for a print ad I find the results reasonable.

What I’ve been curious about is whether Cramer’s numbers are holding up. Multiple public surveys have shown him with double-digit leads since mid-September, but Heitkamp has (thanks to her vote against Brett Kavanaugh) a mountain of cash from national liberal networks, and she’s spending it as anyone who has opened an internet browser or turned on a television can see.

As I write this, we don’t have any new polling publicly, but Republicans in the state are telling me their last survey was last week and it showed Cramer up 11 points.

Take that with a grain of salt. This is a partisan source I’m talking to, and they aren’t sharing any details about their polling, but for what it’s worth Republicans are confident Cramer’s lead is holding up even amid an onslaught from the Heitkamp campaign.

Rob Port is the editor of SayAnythingBlog.com, a columnist for the Forum News Service, and host of the Plain Talk Podcast which you can subscribe to by clicking here.

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