The New York Times and the Washington Post had articles over the weekend that brought up North Dakota’s congressional races as ones that bucked the national trends.
The New York Times’ David M. Herszenhorn reported Friday that the likely Republican U.S. Senate winners, including Gov. John Hoeven, will be “veteran politicians.” Hoeven is running against Democratic-NPL candidate Tracy Potter to win the Senate seat that retiring Sen. Byron Dorgan has held since 1992.
Here’s part of that article:
Christine Oâ€™Donnell, the Tea Party favorite and Republican Senate nominee from Delaware, is trailing badly in the polls, but her every utterance seems to win national attention. Meanwhile, John Hoeven, the three-term governor of North Dakota, remains largely unknown even though he is virtually certain to win a Senate seat next week â€” not to mention that he was recently named a finalist for the American Mustache Instituteâ€™s Mustached American of the Year award.
Insurgent challengers may be grabbing all the headlines in midterm elections this year, but most of the Republicans who are best positioned to snap up Senate seats currently held by Democrats are veteran politicians â€” and most of them have already served in Congress.
On Sunday, the Washington Post’s Rachel Dry profiled North Dakota’s tight U.S. House race between Democratic incumbent Rep. Earl Pomeroy and Republican challenger Rick Berg. The article, which features the headline “An election without the economic angst,” looked at a U.S. House race that hasn’t had to focus on the tough economy.
Here’s part of the Post article:
An oil boom in the western part of the state, strong agriculture throughout and a conservative banking system that offered some insulation from the housing bubble all contributed to a relatively sunny outlook there – and to the state’s 3.7 percent unemployment rate, the lowest in the country.
I was there earlier this month, on a road trip that took me from Vermont to North Dakota and its alternate political universe. The first 1,200 miles or so of my journey matched the mood that I’d been told to expect: People were angry.
In Upstate New York (unemployment rate: 8.3 percent), lawn signs shouted, “I’m mad too, Carl!” In Michigan (unemployment rate: 13 percent), Rep. Dale Kildee (D) boasted on TV of his frugality with public funds, perhaps seeking to assure voters that he didn’t spend as wildly as those other Democrats. Even in Chicago (Illinois’s unemployment rate: 9.9 percent), the heart of what should be Obama Country, a motorcade elicited more annoyance at the traffic than excitement that the president was in town for a fundraiser.
Of course, people were angry in North Dakota, too. But for the most part, they seemed mad about how negative the national political climate has become. It’s different there, and the contrast in the midterm election mood helps illustrate just how much the economy changes everything.