According To Yet Another Democrat Poll, Heidi Heitkamp Leads ND’s Senate Race By Five Points
In politics, perception is reality, and if you couldn’t tell Democrats both locally and nationally are working really hard to create the perception that Rep. Rick Berg is losing in North Dakota.
A few weeks ago Democrats released a poll conducted by a Democrat polling firm which showed that North Dakotans preferred a Democrat over Rick Berg by four points. But that poll was by the same polling firm which claimed Earl Pomeroy was going to win in 2010 just before the election (as we all know he went on to be trounced by 10 points).
Today Democrats released another poll they paid for, this one showing Berg losing to Heidi Heitkamp by five points.
The Mellman Group poll for the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee shows their new candidate, former attorney general Heidi Heitkamp (D), leading Rep. Rick Berg (R) 47 percent to 42 percent.
The poll also shows Heitkamp leading Berg 51 percent to 30 percent among independents.
Perhaps most interestingly, the poll shows twice as many people rate Berg’s job performance negatively (56 percent) as positively (28 percent).
If these numbers are anywhere close to legitimate, we have much more of a race in North Dakota than we anticipated.
Republicans have pointed out that Democratic polling down the stretch of Berg’s 2010 win over then-Rep. Earl Pomeroy (D-N.D.) was way off the final result.
Which is exactly what Democrats are trying to attack. They know that, later on in this race, Heidi Heitkamp is going to have to explain to voters her support for Obamacare, her support for Obama, her support for the stimulus spending spree, etc., etc. They don’t want their candidate to have to do that while also being perceived as losing in the polls.
So what they’re trying to do is define this race, even at this early stage, as Heitkamp’s to lose.
It’s smart politics, I guess, but let’s be clear that these polls the Democrats are releasing (and the media is gobbling up almost without question) is about a) shaping, not measuring public opinion and b) trying to prove to national Democrat fundraisers, in an election year where the Dems have 23 Senate seats to defend to the Republicans’ 10, that Heidi Heitkamp isn’t a waste of their money.
Update: Here’s a list of the Mellman Group’s clients. It’s entirely comprised of Democrat politicians, Democrat political parties and labor unions.Tags: election 2012, Heidi Heitkamp, North Dakota News, Rick Berg