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Election 2008: North Dakota Presidential Election
McCain Takes Lead in North Dakota

Like neighboring Montana, North Dakota has become a lot friendlier to John McCain in the first polling conducted since Sarah Palin was nominated to be the Republican Vice Presidential nominee.

The latest Rasmussen Reports telephone survey of North Dakota voters shows McCain with a 14-percentage point lead over Barack Obama, 55% to 41%. In early July, the candidates were tied in the state and Obama was looking to the Dakotas and Montana as a way to expand the electoral map for Democrats. Now, the Democratic nominee appears to be more focused on traditional battleground states.

McCain now leads by 22 percentage points among independent voters. In July, Obama had a ten-point advantage among those voters.

In North Dakota, continues to enjoy a double digit lead among men and has gained a lot of ground among the state’s women voters. The Republican ticket now leads by eleven among North Dakota women after trailing by nine in July (crosstabs available for Premium Members).

A similar phenomenon took place in Montana which went from a toss-up in July to a double-digit McCain lead this month. Nationally, the candidates are essentially even in the Rasmussen Reports daily Presidential Tracking Poll.

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In North Dakota, McCain is now viewed favorably by 67% of voters and Palin earns positive reviews from 64%.

Obama gets a favorable response from 52% while 47% say the same of his running mate, Joe Biden.

North Dakota voters are evenly divided as to whether or not Obama’s selection of a running mate was the right choice—35% say the Democratic nominee was right to select Biden while another 35% disagreed.

As for McCain’s choice of Palin, 58% say it was the right decision while 27% disagree.

Like voters across the country, the economy tops the issues list in North Dakota. Forty percent (40%) say it’s the most important issue while 25% view national security as the highest priority.

North Dakota historically is as safe a Republican state as any in Presidential elections. George W. Bush carried the state by twenty-seven points in Election 2004 and twenty-eight points four years earlier. The state has voted for a Democratic Presidential candidate just once since 1936.

Rasmussen Markets data shows that McCain is currently given a % chance of winning in North Dakota this November. With release of this poll, North Dakota shifts from “Leans Republican” to “Likely Republican” in the Rasmussen Reports Balance of Power Calculator. NOTE: Factors other than the latest Rasmussen Reports poll impact the Balance of Power ratings. The current status is indicated on the table in the upper right hand corner of this article.

Even though George W. Bush won 63% of the vote in North Dakota four years ago, just 41% of the state’s voters now say he is doing a good or an excellent job.

Rasmussen Reports has just released results from the latest Presidential polls in Alaska and New Mexico. Earlier this week, Rasmussen Reports released new presidential polling data for Colorado, Florida, Montana, Ohio, Pennsylvania and Virginia. Additional state Presidential poll results will be released each Monday at 6:00 p.m. Eastern and Tuesday-Friday at 5:00 p.m. Eastern.

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North Dakota
Likely Republican

RR Poll

RR Poll




McCain (R)




Obama (D)




This telephone survey of 500 Likely Voters was conducted by Rasmussen Reports September 8, 2008. The margin of sampling error for the survey is +/- 4.5 percentage points with a 95% level of confidence.

See Methodology.

Favorable Ratings for Presidential Candidates in North Dakota




Very Favorable



Somewhat Favorable



Somewhat Unfavorable



Very Unfavorable



Not Sure



Rasmussen Reports - Electoral College Balance of Power Summary





Toss-Ups & Leaners


About Rasmussen Reports

Rasmussen Reports is an electronic publishing firm specializing in the collection, publication, and distribution of public opinion polling information.

The Rasmussen Reports ElectionEdge™ Premium Service for Election 2008 offers the most comprehensive public opinion coverage ever provided for a Presidential election.

Scott Rasmussen, president of Rasmussen Reports, has been an independent pollster for more than a decade.