According to the New York Times’ political prognostications blog FiveThirtyEight, the recent polling showing Republican Senate candidate Rick Berg in a tie with Heidi Heitkamp doesn’t mean much. Noting the importance of oil politics to the outcome of this election, they’re still giving Berg a 78% chance of winning the race.
“According to the current FiveThirtyEight forecast, the Republican, Mr. Berg, is a 77 percent favorite,” reads the most recent post on the state. Here’s how they arrived there. Note the bottom showing the polling in the race (excluding, rightly, non-sensical polling released by the Democrats) which indicates that the Mason-Dixon polling showing the Senate race tied is a bit of an outlier:
Democrats have done a very, very good job of creating the public perception of a close race between Heitkamp and Berg. And, to be sure, Heitkamp’s well-run campaign has made the race closer than many expected it to be. But Heitkamp has simply had too much ground to make up. To be competitive with Berg she has to distance herself from her political party, and from policies/political leaders she’s been extremely loyal too, and it’s hard to imagine that many voters are taking her election year conversion all that seriously.