Last year Rasmussen Reports produced the most accurate polling in North Dakota’s races, pegging the outcome of the House race between Rick Berg and Earl Pomeroy exactly.
Today Rasmussen has polling out in the state’s Senate race between Heidi Heitkamp and Rick Berg, and it’s good news for Berg supporters. Rasmussen is showing a 9 point lead for Berg.
Republican Congressman Rick Berg is leading former state Attorney General Heidi Heitkamp by nine points in Rasmussen Reports’ first look at the U.S. Senate race in North Dakota.
That’s a bit of a change from the Mason-Dixon poll commissioned by a local television affiliate which showed Berg and Heitkamp effectively tied (Heitkamp had a 1 point lead).
Heitkamp has built a lot of momentum in this race. Her fundraising has been strong, she just posted her best fundraising figures to date, and her campaign has been energetic so far while Berg’s campaign efforts have been almost non-existent.
The strength of Rasmussen polling is that they do it consistently, in the last cycle on a month-by-month basis, which develops a trend. I’ll feel more confident in this big lead for Berg when Rasmussen releases another poll to begin developing that trend, but for now it’s much-needed good news for Berg.
Update: Here are some more details on the poll from behind the pay wall.
The partisan breakdown of the poll is 42% Republican, 28% Democrat and 31% “not sure.” That seems appropriate in a state where Republicans hold every partisan statewide office and big majorities in both houses of the legislature. In fact, the 28% of Democrats is about 6 points higher than the Democrat Senate candidate’s share of the vote in 2010.
Despite the Heitkamp campaign’s heavy push of a supposed Republican “war on women,” Berg is actually beating Heitkamp among women 46% to 43%. Berg leads among men 53% to 38%. The poll’s sample favors women 54% to 46%.
53% of poll respondents view Heitkamp as either somewhat or very unfavorable. 52% view Berg favorably.
The biggest driver of Heitkamp’s weak numbers in this poll may be the health care issue. 57% of poll respondents said Obamacare will be “bad” for the country, and 64% favor repeal of the law.