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Elections

New Poll: GOP Rep. Kevin Cramer Leads Heidi Heitkamp in North Dakota Senate Race

A Fox News poll this week found that Republican congressman Kevin Cramer leads incumbent Democratic senator Heidi Heitkamp by four percentage points in the North Dakota Senate race, 48–44 percent.

The survey of 701 likely voters is the first poll of the race since mid June, just after the North Dakota primary. That poll, conducted by Mason-Dixon, also found Cramer leading Heitkamp 48 to 44 percent.

The Fox News poll, which was conducted from September 8–11, found that 8 percent of voters say they remain undecided, while 15 percent say they might change their mind on their candidate selection before November.

Perhaps most interesting, the poll shows that one-third of voters who said they might change their mind before the election said they’d be less likely to vote for Heitkamp if she opposes the confirmation of Judge Brett Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court later this month.

Meanwhile, Heitkamp has a 7-point edge among female respondents, and Cramer has a 15-point advantage among men. White evangelical Christians chose Cramer over Heitkamp by a whopping margin of 30 percentage points, and voters prioritizing the economy picked the Republican by an even larger 36-point margin.

Voters’ views of President Trump will likely play a role in the North Dakota race, too. According to Morning Consult, the president has a 51/45 net favorable rating in the state, and the Fox News poll indicates that 26 percent of voters want their Senate vote to express support for Trump, while 24 percent say their vote will be in opposition to him. Forty-six percent of respondents said the president wouldn’t be a factor in their vote at all.

The University of Virginia Center for Politics currently ranks the North Dakota Senate race as a toss-up, but other rankings of the race have shifted it in recent months to indicate Cramer’s growing momentum.

Roll Call puts the contest at “tilts Republican” and CNN has it at “leans Republican.” FiveThirtyEight’s Nate Silver remarked on Twitter that his site’s forecasting model will weight the Fox News poll heavily because there have been so few public polls of the race, and he called the new survey a “pretty rough poll for Heitkamp.”

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