Tuesday, May 01, 2012

The apparent contradictions of North Dakota politics

According to Politico, a poll done by the North Dakota Democratic Party gives Democrat Heidi Heitkamp a 5-point lead over Republican Rick Berg in the state's Senate race.

Heitkamp sits at 49 per cent, Berg at 44, which is a small change in the gap from December, when the two were just one point apart.

I don't profess to know anything about politics in North Dakota, but it does amaze me that polls show voters in the state have an overwhelmingly negative view of the Democratic Party despite their apparent support for the party's standard bearer in the Senate election. Specifically, 48 per cent of those surveyed have an unfavourable view of the Democrats, compared to 34 per cent who approve.

As for the Republicans, 53 per cent view them favourably, while 31 view them unfavourably.

On top of that, it doesn't look like President Obama will even have a glimmer of hope in North Dakota, polling behind Romney by a 51-32 per cent margin. 62 per cent say the country is headed in the wrong direction.

Clearly, I have some work to do to understand how things are done in North Dakota, and it wouldn't be the first time I saw local dynamics that were different from national dynamics, but it still requires a bit of an explanation when it happens.

Last time I looked, incumbent Democratic Senator Kent Conrad had decided not to run again and the Republicans were basically already putting this in the win column as one they could steal from the Democrats.

I guess things are a bit more complicated than that in the Peace Garden State.

(Cross-posted at Lippmann's Ghost.)

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