I’ve mentioned this in passing in a few posts in the past, but a reader brought it to my attention today that I hadn’t written a full-on post about the phenomena yet.
Democrats have been pushing hard in North Dakota’s Senate race, and have certainly created the perception that they have the momentum here. Absent any recent independent polling, though, it’s hard to discern if that perception is accurate or just the result of a fierce and influential media campaign.
Absent polling, it is interesting to note that Rick Berg has done a lot better than Heitkamp in fundraising from North Dakotans. Citizens in this state are notoriously tight-fisted when it comes to political giving, and both candidates have financed most of their campaigns on out-of-state contributions (Heitkamp has taken 75% from out of state, Berg 65%). But looking at just the in-state contributions, Berg has raised more triple Heitkamp’s amount.
That’s a startling difference, and one that has to have Democrats worried. Remember, Heitkamp has a lot to overcome to win. She’ll likely have to outperform Barack Obama by a dozen points or so on the ballot to beat Berg. The other top-of-the-ticket races – governor, US House and all of the statewide races – are comfortably in the bag for Republicans. What Heitkamp needs is a lot of traction among North Dakotans, and it’s hard to imagine she has that traction when she’s being beaten so soundly in fundraising among North Dakotans.
By the way, according to OpenSecrets.org, Rick Berg’s top metro area for fundraising is Fargo. That would make sense, given that Fargo is North Dakota’s most populous area. For Heitkamp Washington DC is her top area for fundraising.
Again, a sign that while Heitkamp is enjoying a lot of enthusiasm for her campaign, most of that enthusiasm (at least as measured by campaign dollars) seems to be coming from outside of North Dakota.