Poll: Cramer Leads Gulleson By 20 Points
It’s been sort of easy, in the midst of the hubub over the Senate race between Heidi Heitkamp and Rick Berg, to sort of put the House race between Kevin Cramer and Pam Gulleson on the back burner. And what has made that easy is the fact that it really hasn’t been all that competitive. Despite indications of strong fundraising, and a competent campaign, early on Gulleson simply hasn’t put it together.
Poll after poll has shown Cramer dominating the race, and the most recent polling from Forum Communications is no different. It shows Cramer with a 20 point lead.
The polling memo is below. The Fargo Forum’s article is here.
One contrast between the House race and the Senate race that has interested me is that the differential in support between Cramer and Berg doesn’t really have anything to do with ideology. Cramer is probably the most conservative Republican on the statewide ballot, and has run a very conservative campaign, yet there’s a 10 point differential in this poll between him and Rick Berg.
Why would so many people support an outspoken conservative like Cramer on one hand, but then switch their support to a much more liberal candidate like Heitkamp in the Senate race? It’s not about ideology. It’s about likability. Cramer and Heitkamp are both gregarious, likable candidates. Berg and Gulleson both come off a bit aloof on the campaign trail.
For many – 10% of this polling sample, at least – likability matters more than ideology.
No doubt, Heitkamp is wishing that were a larger percentage.