Rick Berg Is In Trouble…According To A Poll Released By North Dakota Democrats

Back during the waning days of the 2010 election desperate nine-term incumbent Earl Pomeroy, desperate to show that he was still in the race despite independent polling showing his challenger Rick Berg in the lead, released his own internal polling which showed that he was actually leading. And then refused to release any internal data from that poll, which might have been nice to see because Pomeroy’s poll showed a much different trend in the race than any other polling.

On election day, with Pomeroy still claiming that his internal polling showed him with the lead, Rick Berg beat him by a solid 10 points.

Anyway, that same polling company (Garin-Hart-Yang Research Group) is working for the North Dakota Democrat party and – surprise! – they have a poll showing that Rick Berg may be in trouble in the Senate race. And, apparently, we’re supposed to take this seriously.

Democrats released a new poll today aiming to show they could be competitive in the open North Dakota Senate race.
The Garin-Hart-Yang Research Group survey showed the likely GOP Senate nominee, freshman Rep. Rick Berg (R-N.D.) with 44 percent. Another 40 percent of respondents preferred a Democratic candidate. …

Meanwhile, Democratic pollster Geoff Garin wrote in a memo that Berg’s “personal and performance ratings are the lowest by far I have ever measured for any federally elected official in the state, Republican or Democrat.”

The Democratic survey questioned 614 voters from Aug. 14 to 16, including 40 percent self-identified Republicans and 28 percent self-identified Democrats.

More from liberal Washington Post blogger Chris Cillizza:

The Garin-Hart-Yang poll shows 33 percent of people rate Rep. Rick Berg’s (R-N.D.) job performance as either excellent of good. Another 55 percent rate him fair or poor. As for his personal favorable ratings, 31 percent like Berg, while 34 percent don’t like him.

In a generic trial heat, Berg leads a generic Democrat 44 percent to 40 percent.

And more from National Journal:

Independents expressing a preference in the poll, conducted by Democratic pollster Geoff Garin, say they would prefer a Democrat over Berg by 61 percent to 39 percent.

Roll Call continues to rate North Dakota’s Senate race as “safe” for Republicans, which is a good bet given that Democrats can’t even get their own polls to show Rick Berg losing.

And, since actions speak louder than words, the most telling factor for how Democrats may actually feel about Berg’s chances in the Senate race came yesterday when former Democrat state legislator Pam Gulleson, who was widely expected to run against Berg for the Senate seat, announced instead for the open House seat.

Put simply, if North Dakota Democrats up to and including Pam Gulleson believed their own poll, then why is Gulleson running for the House and not challenging Berg for the Senate seat?

Update: Here’s the release the polling company sent out about the poll, which apparently also asked respondents if they think Rick Berg cares about them. I’m surprised they also didn’t ask if Rick Berg would more their lawn for them if they asked too.

This is a laughably-transparent push-poll, and Democrats in North Dakota deserve to be mocked for it.


Rob Port

Rob Port is the editor of SayAnythingBlog.com. 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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