Last week, I happened to attend a baseball game with a long-time North Dakota Republican insider. On the way to the ball park (I would never talk politics during a baseball game), I asked about the race for North Dakota’s at-large congressional seat between the incumbent, Democrat Earl Pomeroy who has represented the state in Congress since 1993, and Republican challenger Rick Berg
My source was certainly not ready to take a victory lap yet — he has too much respect for Pomeroy’s skill as a politician. But he was cautiously optimistic, especially given the fact that, up-ballot, Republican Governor John Hoeven is likely to win the North Dakota Senate by a margin of better than 2 to 1.
Today, a Rasmussen poll has Berg leading Pomeroy 53-44. A month ago, Berg was up by only three points. Hoeven, meanwhile, leads his opponent 69-25.
North Dakota is probably just too conservative to elect a Democrat to an at-large seat in a year this good for Republicans.
JOHN adds: The same thing is going on in South Dakota, where Kristi Noem leads the Democratic incumbent by a commanding nine points. But take nothing for granted; you can contribute to Noem’s campaign here. Kristi Noem lives 15 miles from my home town, and my South Dakota relatives vouch for her. You can contribute to Berg’s campaign here.
These races are important. Most residents of North and South Dakota are pretty conservative, but all too often they have been represented by left-wing Democrats who masquerade as moderates while at home. More important, they run on their ability to bring home the bacon. But when voters get serious, as they are this year, they come home to more important values. Media buys in the Dakotas are cheap, and in what promises to be a big year for Republicans, let’s not lose sight of the low-hanging fruit. Both Kristi Noem and Rick Berg deserve your support, and your dollars go much farther there than they might in another race.
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