Polling on Burgum and Fundraising on Fear of a Heitkamp Gubernatorial Race

It appears Doug Burgum or those associated with him have been in the field polling North Dakota voters in July. Readers reached out to discuss what can simply be described as a “push poll” to build up the narrative Burgum successfully used in 2016. If we couple what was reported in the poll with a follow-up fundraising letter, we get a glimpse of Burgum’s early concerns.

According to reports, Central Research conducted the poll. The main focus seems to be on whether certain campaign promises and shifts in public policy would get voters to support Burgum again. Below is a brief example of the questions were asked when a survey taker determined if they were more or less likely to vote for Burgum or if there was no difference. Buzz words like “main street initiative,” state government “reinvented,” and “as a tech entrepreneur, Burgum is best to lead a changing economy” made the list. It gets a little dicier with claims like Burgum, “diversified North Dakota’s economy” when he came into office with oil prices slumping. And ultimately, are you more or less likely or no different to support Burgum because he “supports Donald Trump and Heidi Heitkamp supported Hillary Clinton.

Wait, what? Heidi Heitkamp in a question on whether it would make you more likely to vote for Doug Burgum? Way to show the hand of what you’re afraid of out of the gate and what you’re ultimately testing voters on. The talk of whether Heitkamp is interested in running for Governor must have gripped Burgum’s yet-to-be-announced reelection campaign. The poll went on to ask a head-to-head between Burgum and Heitkamp in addition to Burgum versus House Minority Leader Josh Boschee. According to poll takers, another head-to-head was asked between Donald Trump and Joe Biden.

Questions on favorable and unfavorable opinions were also asked as usual. Doug Burgum, Heidi Heitkamp, Lt. Governor Brent Sanford, First Lady Katherine Burgum, State Auditory Josh Gallion, House Minority Leader Josh Boschee, State Treasurer Kelly Schmidt, and Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez were the public figures asked. The poll also asked favorability on the “main street initiative” and “recovery reinvented.”

What followed the push poll? A fundraising letter by Republicans saying Heidi Heitkamp is seriously considering running for Governor and they need money. Couple this timeline with the continuous increasingly pathetic right-wing obsession with Heitkamp and it makes you wonder what they see in the field? I don’t predict Heidi Heitkamp is running for Governor. Yet, the thought of that potential run clearly has those that view her as a political opponent in North Dakota concerned.

Tyler Axness
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