Heitkamp Campaign Working Hard To Paint Berg As A Negative Campaigner
“It’s yet another positive ad out from Heitkamp, who has largely avoided negative attacks against her opponent, Rep. Rick Berg (R-N.D.),” gushes The Hill about a new ad from the Heitkamp campaign touting her support for reforms to veterans’ health benefits. “The positive tone appears to be paying off for. The last poll of likely voters in the state, conducted for North Dakota’s Democratic Party at the end of July, gave her a six-point lead over Berg and with voters rating her much more positively.”
Of course, we know the poll The Hill refers to was conducted by a Democrat polling firm hired by the state Democrat party and used a sample of voters provided by the state party. It was a poll manufactured not to measure public sentiment but to give Heitkamp and Democrats talking points. Like the one about positive versus negative campaigning.
The idea that Heitkamp has “largely avoided negative attacks” is ridiculous. Heitkamp has been running these web ads accusing Rick Berg of “attacks on women” almost since the first day of her campaign (they link to this fundraising page on Heitkamp’s site):
And then there was this Heidi Heitkamp ad using video, staged by the ND Democrat Party, of an operative trying to trip Rick Berg up on the minimum wage (selectively edited to show that Berg did, in fact, know what the minimum wage was):
Is accusing your opponent of attacking women, and using operatives to stage fake questions, a part of positive campaigning? And Heitkamp’s surrogates certainly haven’t been shy about attacking Rick Berg. Or his mother. The Super PAC founded by Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, for whom Heitkamp has pledged to keep Majority Leader, is running ads accusing Berg of “using his mother.” You can argue that this isn’t an ad run by or approved by the Heitkamp campaign. But it’s not an ad they’re condemning either.
This “positive campaigning” talking point isn’t reality. It’s a construct of the Heitkamp campaign, who knew that they’d gone negative against Berg often and early, and needed to change the narrative about their campaigning before Berg hit back at them on it. Kudos to them for the deft political maneuvering. Berg may have missed his opportunity to do just that.Tags: Heidi Heitkamp, North Dakota News, Rick Berg