Port: Is Trump losing steam in North Dakota?

President Donald Trump enters Scheels Arena in Fargo on Wednesday, June 27, 2018. David Samson / The Forum David Samson
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MINOT, N.D. -- There is a growing national weariness when it comes to our president. runs a useful and widely-referenced aggregator of polling. Of the last 10 surveys it tracked in the 2020 presidential race, not one of them has President Donald Trump leading.

Worse, more than half show former Vice President Joe Biden with a double-digit lead.

RCP's average of these polls, as I write this, shows Biden with an average lead over Trump of more than 10 percentage points.

During the 2016 election, Hillary Clinton never had a lead over Trump in this average higher than 7.9 points.


In 2020, Biden has never led in this average by less than 4.4 points, and his lead has more than doubled since May.

What's happened since May?

President Trump got a robust jobs report, and our national headlines have been filled with stories of often violent demonstrations and zany left-wing calls for abolishing police departments.

That situation should be a lay-up for Trump. He should be skating through it, touting his prowess on the economy and asking voters if they want to put an ally to the more extreme elements of the protests in the White House.

He has been doing those things, actually, but it's not working. He's losing support, and it's coming from his base. "(The) former vice president has also drawn even with Mr. Trump among male voters, whites and people in middle age and older — groups that have typically been the backbones of Republican electoral success, including Mr. Trump's in 2016," the New York Times reported about a recent poll .

We can see an inkling of that trend playing out in North Dakota. I don't have any recent polling on Trump's popularity here, but the president did involve himself in our last primary election.

It didn't go well.

Trump and his political network, including the My Pillow guy, endorsed Rep. Dan Johnston for treasurer.


Johnston lost by more than five points. His opponent, Rep. Tom Beadle, who is based in Fargo, performed very well in eastern North Dakota, but he also did well in the western part of the state.

Which is oil and coal and Trump country.

Beadle took counties like Williams and Mountrail. Places where you'd expect Trump's endorsement to carry a lot of weight.

It didn't. Perhaps because Trump's popularity is slipping, even here in North Dakota, which has consistently counted itself among the most pro-Trump states in the union.

"No, not at all," Sen. Kevin Cramer said when I asked, during a recent podcast interview, if the outcome of the treasurer's race shows Trump's popularity here is declining.

Cramer is an ardent Trump supporter and the orchestrator of the president's endorsement of Johnston.

Cramer has finely-tuned political instincts. He identified Trump's potential long before others did. But now I think Cramer, some of Trump's other supporters, may be blind to his decline.

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Rob Port, founder of, is a Forum Communications commentator. Reach him on Twitter at @robport or via email at .

Rob Port is a news reporter, columnist, and podcast host for the Forum News Service. He has an extensive background in investigations and public records. He has covered political events in North Dakota and the upper Midwest for two decades. Reach him at Click here to subscribe to his Plain Talk podcast.
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