Republican Rep. Kevin Cramer, who recently entered the North Dakota Senate race, leads Democratic incumbent Heidi Heitkamp by 5 points, according to a poll commissioned by the National Republican Senatorial Committee and shared first with Roll Call.
First elected in 2012, Heitkamp is among the more vulnerable Democratic senators up for re-election this fall, especially considering President Donald Trump won North Dakota by 36 points in 2016.
Cramer, a three-term congressman, took 49 percent of vote in the NRSC poll compared to 44 percent for the incumbent. Seven percent of respondents were undecided.
GOP polling firm The Tarrance Group surveyed 500 likely registered voters through live landline and cell phone interviews from Feb. 18-20. The poll had a margin of error of 4.5 points.
The NRSC poll also tested each candidate’s favorability ratings. Fifty-three percent of respondents viewed Cramer favorably compared to 29 percent who had an unfavorable impression. Fifty-four percent had a favorable view of Heitkamp, while 38 percent viewed her unfavorably.
Cramer had initially said he would run for re-election to the House, but changed his mind last month after receiving encouragement from North Dakotans and Republicans in D.C, who felt he would pose the strongest challenge to Heitkamp. He already represents the entire state in the House as the representative of its at-large district.
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