Results of a poll conducted by DFM Research show North Dakotans by a “three-to-one margin see a negative impact on North Dakota’s agriculture economy by tariffs and the trade war.” DFM is based out of St. Paul, Minnesota and is a reputable research firm. Though North Dakotans see the trade policies of the Trump administration as being negative on the state, don’t expect that to change their political preferences in 2020.
Sixty percent of poll respondents in North Dakota see the negative impacts on our economy. Yet, when it comes to politics an overwhelming majority of North Dakota voters support President Donald Trump’s reelection in 2020. There seems to be a disconnect between public policy and political party. This isn’t the first time.
2018 housed both an escalation in the trade war and a general election. In North Dakota, the trade war was discussed by candidates at all levels of the ballot. What happened? Candidates that sounded the alarm about the negative impacts of the trade war were defeated at the ballot. The most prominent being Heidi Heitkamp losing to Kevin Cramer.
A large part of the reason Heitkamp lost reelection was because of the political shift of rural voters in eastern ND. Interestingly, the DFM poll finds, “Sixty-five (65) percent of residents in rural east counties say tariffs and the trade war have had a negative impact, just 15 percent saying a positive impact.”
What is the takeaway? Partisanship is more important than self-interest in modern politics including North Dakota.