What’s the matter with North Dakota?

Republican candidate Rick Berg is a “strong shot” to take out incumbent North Dakota Democratic Rep. Earl Pomeroy in the contest for North Dakota’s congressional seat. In mid-September the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee reportedly canceled two weeks of planned advertising for Pomeroy. It was a good sign that Pomeroy is in trouble.
Pomeroy’s difficulty makes perfect sense to anyone tuned in to the national socialism and fiscal catastrophe promoted by the Obama administration during its 20 months in office. North Dakota is a conservative state; the mystery is its uniformly Democratic congressional delegation.
That mystery is about to unravel. Popular Republican Governor and Dartmouth alum John Hoeven scared off incumbent Democratic Senator Byron Dorgan from running for reelection. Governor Hoeven is running away with the contest.
Berg also appears to have an edge in his race against Pomeroy, and he should. Pomeroy is a leftist who has been able to thrive over the years as something of a populist. His votes in favor of Obamacare and the Democrats’ stimulus slush fund, however, have helped to take the sheen off his shtick this year. Over at the Weekly Standard blog, Jeffrey Anderson reports that Pomeroy is playing the Obamacare shuffle. He’s dancing as fast as he can.
AP reporter Patrick Condon finds Pomeroy’s difficulties to be something of an anomaly. North Dakota is experiencing boom times, but North Dakota voters “have decided to join in the national bad mood anyway.” Some former supporters have had it with Pomeroy. How can this be? Condon presents the case as a “political disconnect.”
Condon introduces the evidence for the source of Pomeroy’s difficulties indirectly. He quote a North Dakota voter who has been paying attention: “I’ll tell you what, I’ve thought about buying a billboard on the freeway between Fargo and Grand Forks with a big picture of Earl Pomeroy and Nancy Pelosi arm in arm. Earl seemed like a nice fella, but I think Harry Reid and Pelosi got leverage on him some way.”
Condon leaves out of his account Pomeroy’s support for an unpopular Democratic agenda including Obamacare and the stimulus slush fund. It’s therefore easy to present Pomeroy’s difficulties as a mystery, but the real mystery is how a guy like Patrick Condon holds down a job as a reporter covering politics for a living.


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