Heidi Heitkamp’s Latest Poll Was More About Convincing National Fundraisers Than North Dakotans

This morning news broke of yet another poll commissioned by Democrats purporting to show Heidi Heitkamp winning in North Dakota. There are all sorts of reasons to be dismissive of the poll, like the fact that it was conducted by a polling firm that caters exclusively to Democrats and labor unions, but what’s really interesting is the manner in which the Dems are hyping the poll.

The news of the poll broke first not among North Dakota media outlets, who didn’t pick up the story until later in the day, but rather among national media outlets like the Roll Call and Politico. If the goal was convincing North Dakotans that Heidi Heitkamp is electable and Rick Berg isn’t it, why would they break the news in the DC-area media and not the North Dakota media?

And then there’s this screen capture a Washington DC reader sent me of Google Ads he’s seeing, indicating that the Democrats are hyping the poll in the DC area:

What this tells me is that the Heitkamp campaign is less concerned, this far out from election day, with influencing North Dakota voters are they are with influencing national fundraisers, particularly those in the DC area.

Keep in mind that Democrats have to defend no fewer than 23 Senate seats this election season, with Republicans having to defend only 10. The Heitkamp campaign has a lot of obstacles to face this election season, but the most immediate obstacle may be campaign financing. North Dakota Democrats took an absolute drubbing in 2010, and what Heidi Heitkamp (and other Democrats in the state, no doubt) has to do is convince the national money people that the ND Senate race is worth investing in.

Whether or not they’ll buy what Heitkamp is selling remains to be seen.

Rob Port is the editor of SayAnythingBlog.com. In 2011 he was a finalist for the Watch Dog of the Year from the Sam Adams Alliance and winner of the Americans For Prosperity Award for Online Excellence. In 2013 the Washington Post named SAB one of the nation's top state-based political blogs, and named Rob one of the state's best political reporters.

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  • VocalYokel

    IMHO the reason that this poll was marketed to out of state fundraisers/contributors is the chance that they are less likely to be cognizant of the position of weakness that Heidi actually occupies in this race.

    • http://sayanything.flywheelsites.com Rob

      True, but again all the people outside of the state can do is donate money.

      • VocalYokel

        Yes, but in politics money is power.

    • http://sayanything.flywheelsites.com Rob

      Heitkamp is trying to appeal to liberal interests outside of North Dakota who are likely to be contributing money to hold the Dem majority in the Senate.

      • VocalYokel

        Unless they find a better candidate, I think they will recognize very quickly that their money is better spent on other races.

  • Cherz1967

    Not to change the subject, but it doesn’t look like Heidi is wearing makeup.  To quote Austin Powers, “She’s a man baby.”

    • Dane


  • awfulorv

    She looks like someone who will claim some association with the Kennedy clan. Let’s see if she speaks with a Boston twang when she goes East in search of money.

  • http://randysroundtable.blogspot.com/ Randy G

    She will need all the out of state money she can get, she won’t raise much in ND.

  • Rick Olson

    I agree. She won’t find much money here in North Dakota. Nearly all of her support will come from out of state.

    • Dane

       I plan on giving her money…  I went to NDSU and now live in Chicago…. 

      • Rick Olson

        You’ve just proved our point.  Most of her money will come from out of state.  I mean last weekend when she got the endorsement of her party…there were only about a thousand people in attendance at the North Dakota Democratic-NPL Party Convention that was held up in Grand Forks. 

        This belly-flop of a convention which had former President Bill Clinton as a keynote speaker certainly goes to show the Democrats themselves in North Dakota don’t even care anymore. Clinton couldn’t even fill the large stadium space of the Alerus Center.

        Give her all the money you want…it’ll basically be throwing your money down a rathole.

  • http://ndgoon.blogspot.com Goon

    I would be surprised if Rick Berg didn’t lead by 20 in this race. I can’t see this woman gaining a national office in ND, she is every thing that North Dakotan aren’t. Heidi is an Obumble shill and I would be willing to bet that Obumble isn’t very popular in this state.

  • http://twitter.com/NaCaWo NaCaWo

    To those indulging in name-calling, please knock it off. It actually helps the Heitkamp campaign raise money. You know, “She’s come under vicious attack by right-wing forces…” Direct mail to rented lists from people like Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY) and Gov. Christine Gregoire (D-WA) or Emilys List, and you put money into her campaign coffers. Beat her on the issues, not on silliness like appearances.

    • 308T

      Screw that, she”s frickin fugly to the bone! If you think people calling her what she is,ugly,is going to cost Berg the win then we’re in deep sh!t.

      • Jamermorrow

        That thing is a she? How can you tell? No adams apple maybe?

        • http://twitter.com/NaCaWo NaCaWo

          Uh, huh. That really helps the cause. Plus, people who call women names are jerks.

          • Jamermorrow

            I am jerk and don’t like fat women. 

          • gutbombs

            I’m sure all women feel the same about you.

      • Dane

         I would hide your picture and keep the physical appearances out of this….  You look like an ugly flat-billy…..

    • sbark

      Have to agree, Leave the politics of personal destruction to the dem’cats…..its their specialty.   At least wait until pulls the stunt on Berg…..

      • Dane

         Do you watch FOX?  That is all they do is insult….

  • John_Wayne_American

    I think every state should in act some sort of pro-right to work and government employee pension reform propositions, that would clean the unions slush funds and make Dems like Heidi actually have to raise money from the people she hopes to represent.

    I really, really, would love to see the 17th amendment regarding Senate seats appointed by the state houses rather that state wide elections with politicians promising free ice cream to folks to lazy or stupid to study the candidates and their platforms.

    Now the State has no representation, and really no way to recall those whom misrepresent us, then every 6 years put on a flannel shirt and pretend to be “one of us” 

  • noblindersonme

    for the umpteenth time I will quote Sarah Palin here , remember her ,your guys’s hero? “Polls are only for  strippers and x-country skiers “!
     BUT if the poll is flattering to YOUR prejudice , then it is gospel isn’t it!!!!

  • awfulorv

    Any truth to the rumor that Heidi came upon that wig when a lioness could not pay the tab. 

  • awfulorv

    If this gal can cook Lutefisk and Lefse, and she should, as she looks more Norwegian than most Norsk men,  gets some Bakken crude oil on her face,  learn to swear just enough, she can throw away the plaid shirt, that was yesterdays prop, and win the thing. Don’t take her lightly. 

  • Dane

    Reading some of these comments…  Some good (a few), some very very stupid…  Now I know why I left this state….  Ya, you betcha!

  • Rick Olson

    Radio Commercial from Rick Berg: 

    (Audio sound of phone ringtone when you make a call, and a pleasant female voice answers):

    “Hello and thank you for calling the Heidi Heitkamp for Senate hotline. Please listen carefully to the following menu, because the winds are blowing here and some of Heidi’s positions may change without warning. If you’re calling from Emily’s List to funnel another half a million dollars from liberals across the country to Heidi’s campaign, press one. If you think big oil is evil and determined to line their profit statements with your children’s college fund, press two. If you’re a supporter of big oil and agree with Heidi that it’s a big investment opportunity, press three. If you are a criminal that Heidi Heitkamp plea bargained or paroled while she was attorney general and you just want to catch-up and say ‘thanks’ now that she’s running for Senate, press four. Otherwise, please press zero and someone will be with you shortly and tell you what you want to hear!”

    (A similar radio commercial scipt was used by Republican U.S. Senate candidate Mark  Kennedy during his run against current Sen. Amy Klobuchar, D-Minn.)