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.

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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. He writes a weekly column for several North Dakota newspapers, and also serves as a policy fellow for the North Dakota Policy Council.

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