Transcript Shows Burgum Polling On Taking Subsidies, Stenehjem Trips


This morning a reader sent me the transcript of a call they received polling them for North Dakota’s gubernatorial race. The call happened on May 24, my reader tells me, at 8:10pm.

I sent the transcript to the campaigns to see which candidate might have paid for it.

“It wasn’t us,” Stenehjem campaign manager Nate Martindale told me.

“We’re not going to comment about internal campaign strategy, including the timing of polling,” Burgum spokeswoman Kate Mund told me.

I think it’s pretty clear which candidate is behind the polling.

This appears to be a messaging poll. Which is to say a poll aimed at collecting information about which sort of campaign messaging might be most effective in supporting the candidate and damaging the opponent.

The questions are fascinating, because they reveal both what sort of attacks might be coming, and what sort of attacks the candidate is worried about.

For instance, with the approval of a generous raft of public assistance dollars (not to mention a government-backed loan) for the Block 9 project in downtown Fargo in the news (Burgum is a partner), the poll asks what they think about someone who “took advantage of special tax breaks.”

But the same question also suggests what might be a future Burgum attack on Stenehjem, which is that the Attorney General took lavish trips while in office:


Makes you wonder what Burgum has on that last point, doesn’t it? Maybe this is foreshadowing a “June surprise”?


There was also a lot of stuff about breaking up the “good old boy’s club,” which is a term the Burgum campaign has used often:


You can read the full transcript below:

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