The Associated Press Must Not Think Heidi Heitkamp Is Going To Win


Today it was announced that, as a cost-saving measure, the major television networks and the Associated Press will only be doing exit polling in 31 states. In the past polling had been done in all 50 states.

That’s interesting in and of itself, but perhaps more interesting for political observers here in North Dakota is that our state – home to a hotly contested Senate race between Heidi Heitkamp and Rick Berg – was one of the 19 states where there will be no exit polling. It’s also the only state of the 19 that had competitive races, a fact specifically mentioned in this Washington Post article about the development:

Comparing this list with the election map, reveals how carefully the exit poll planners allocated resources. All 19 of the states with no exit polls are classified as either “solid Obama” or “solid Romney,” and there is only one “toss-up” gubernatorial or U.S. Senate race not on the list: the competitive North Dakota match-up of Heidi Heitkamp and Rick Berg.

Actions speak louder than words. The media narrative about North Dakota’s Senate race has it as a close contest, and admittedly Heitkamp has made it more of a race than most observers (including myself) expected, but most here in North Dakota feel that Berg is still the favorite to win. And clearly, judging by the media’s allocation of their election coverage resources, they’re confident Berg is going to hold on as well.

Judging to the orgy of poo-flinging Democrats have been engaged in against Berg over the last several weeks (the latest bit of nonsense here), they must feel like they’re behind too.

Rob Port is the editor of 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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  • Jay

    Of course the obligatory response from DakotaCyr:


  • Lianne

    Le’ts not count our chickens before they are hatched. But, all of Heidi’s actions seem to indicate that she, too, believes she will lose. She certainly isn’t running a campaign that portrays a winner.

    • kevindf

      Neither is Obama.

  • DelawareBeachHouse

    I think you’re right, but AP is really in a cost-cutting mode these days. Triage.
    Too bad, though, because the polling results always have an interesting insight or two.
    I did think it was interesting that Mike Jacobs’ last column commented on the lack of independent polling in the Berg-Heitkamp race. Back in the day — oh, a 15 years ago — the GF Herald and other ND newspapers commissioned their own polls, well-done ones by the Bureau of Governmental Affairs.
    Cost-cutting. Triage.

    • slapdick

      It would be nice to see a current Rasmussen poll on this race. There has been nothing new for three months.

  • Thresherman

    Of course the AP is acting fairly by cutting 16 red states and three blue ones.

  • Vugg

    send heidi to washington and harry reid and nancy pelosi gain a rubberstamper/lapdog.

  • Captornado

    In before the 500 word diatribe by Rick Olsen on how close the race will be at the polls!

  • awfulorv

    Our news organizations are so lacking in worthwhile information today that I find it easier to remember the name of the Belgian nurse executed by the Germans in WW1, Cavell, than the name of our ambassador, who was recently slaughtered in Benghazi. Perhaps my TV is on the fritz, or something. Or perhaps, as it seems, that occurrence, like the border agent killed the other day, is not worthy of comment. Odd too, as I understand he was gay which, had he been insulted, in any way, in the oil patch, would have warranted ten point headlines. I guess one must be named Trayvon, or Fluke, to garner their attention.