Poll: Hoeven leads Potter by 43 percentA new poll released Friday shows Gov. John Hoeven is maintaining a strong lead in North Dakota’s U.S. Senate race against his challenger, state Sen. Tracy Potter, D-Bismarck.
By: By Ryan Johnson , Forum Communications Co., The Jamestown Sun
A new poll released Friday shows Gov. John Hoeven is maintaining a strong lead in North Dakota’s U.S. Senate race against his challenger, state Sen. Tracy Potter, D-Bismarck.
In a March 23 telephone survey of 500 likely North Dakota voters, Rasmussen Reports found Hoeven leading Potter 68 percent to 25 percent. The poll has a margin of error of plus or minus 4.5 percent.
Respondents were also asked to rate Hoeven’s job performance as governor, an office he has held for three terms since first being elected in 2000.
Half said they “strongly approve,” and another 35 percent said they “somewhat approve” of his actions while governor. Only 15 percent somewhat or strongly disapproved of Hoeven’s performance.
When asked about their impression of the two candidates, Hoeven once again enjoyed relatively high numbers. Only 3 percent were unsure of their impression of Hoeven, and 14 percent had unfavorable perceptions, but 83 percent rated Hoeven as “very” or “somewhat” favorable.
Potter, a Grand Forks native first elected to the state Senate in 2006, seemed to have a lower level of name recognition among respondents — 32 percent said they were unsure of their impression of Potter.
Less than half of respondents — 43 percent — had favorable impressions, and 29 percent said they had a “somewhat” or “very” unfavorable impression.
The latest numbers show Potter gaining more support and Hoeven losing a small piece of the lead he had in a Feb. 9-10 Rasmussen poll. Last month, Hoeven led Potter 71 percent to 17 percent.
Another change in the latest poll was in the number of undecided or uncommitted voters. In February, 8 percent of respondents said they were undecided and 4 percent said they would vote for another candidate in the race — but now only 5 percent are undecided and 2 percent plan to vote for someone else.
Hoeven received the state Republican endorsement to run for the office Mar. 20 during the state convention in Grand Forks. Potter is in Fargo this weekend seeking the North Dakota Democratic-NPL Party’s endorsement at the state convention.
The two candidates are running to claim the spot Sen. Byron Dorgan, D-N.D., has held since 1992. Dorgan announced in January he is not seeking re-election this year.
Ryan Johnson is a reporter for The Grand Forks (N.D.) Herald which is owned by
Forum Communications Co.