2. Burgum won the Republican primary for governor in 2016 in an upset
Burgum is currently polling in ninth place out of the 11 candidates included in the RealClearPolitics average, placing far behind frontrunner and former President Donald Trump and most of the Republican rivals he appeared on stage with last month. However, Burgum also found himself significantly behind in the polls as a little-known Republican gubernatorial candidate seeking the top job in his state seven years ago.
A poll conducted by North Dakota United, the state’s largest teachers’ union, and the St. Paul, Minnesota-based DFM Research in February 2016, found Burgum 49 points behind Republican Attorney General Wayne Stenehjem, considered the frontrunner for the Republican nomination for governor at the time. Among the 369 likely Republican primary voters surveyed, Burgum secured 10% support compared to Stenehjem’s 59%.
When Republican primary voters went to the polls four months later to select their gubernatorial nominee, Burgum performed significantly better and ended up beating Stenehjem by more than 20 points. Burgum captured 59.5% of the vote, while Stenehjem won just 38.6%.
When the general election rolled around in November 2016, Burgum emerged victorious against his Democratic opponent in the heavily Republican state by an even larger margin. He won 76.7% of the vote, while his opponent secured just 19.4%. Burgum outperformed Trump in the state, who beat Democrat Hillary Clinton by more than 36 percentage points in the concurrent presidential election and received 64.1% of the vote.
Ryan Foley is a reporter for The Christian Post. He can be reached at: firstname.lastname@example.org