Heitkamp Campaign Drops Yet Another Internal Poll, This One Showing 4 Point Lead
Apparently, in the face of burgeoning evidence that the North Dakota Senate race is slipping away from them, the Heitkamp campaign strategy is to order their campaign pollsters to drop poll after poll showing them in the lead.
The latest, another one from the Mellman Group, was taken just days after the last poll they released:
The poll, conducted by the Mellman Group, shows Heitkamp with 48 percent support to Berg’s 44 percent, with 7 percent still undecided. The Mellman Group’s previous poll conducted for the former Attorney General’s campaign, in mid-October, had Heitkamp leading Berg 45 percent ot 42 percent. Most polls have showed a tight race in North Dakota, though a survey released last weekend showed the Republican with a 10-point lead. …
The poll was conducted from October 21-24 — starting just two days after they completed their previous internal poll — and surveyed 600 likely voters. It has a margin of error of plus-or-minus 4 percentage points.
You really have to wonder if they haven’t reached a point of diminishing returns with this sort of thing. Obviously, their strategy is to create positive headlines casting themselves as winning this race, but the public tends to see polls conducted by the campaign themselves as pretty self-serving. And releasing so many internal polls, at some point, has to start coming off a little desperate.
Democrats have hit Rick Berg for not releasing any of his own internal polling, but he hasn’t had to. The independent polling from reputable sources shows him leading this race. It’s the Democrats who have had to resort to releasing their own polls to make the race look competitive.
And then there’s the fact that no independent poll conducted in this race shows anything even remotely like these numbers Heitkamp’s polls are showing. The best independent poll released in October for Heitkamp showed a tie. The other polls showed a 10 and 5 point lead for Berg.
What we’re seeing is a transparent attempt by the Heitkamp campaign to manufacture their own reality in this race. And I suspect most voters are going to see right through it.
Meanwhile, at the New York Times polling analyst Nate Silver is now giving Heitkamp just an 18% chance of winning:
Heitkamp’s odds of winning, per Silver, are down 4 points from 11 days ago.Tags: election 2012, Heidi Heitkamp, North Dakota News, polls, Rick Berg