Heitkamp Has Slight Edge in Internal Poll
Days after a poll showed Rep. Rick Berg, R-N.D., with a 10-point lead in North Dakota's Senate race, Democratic candidate Heidi Heitkamp's campaign will release an internal poll showing her with a slight edge.
The poll, conducted by the Mellman Group, shows Heitkamp with 45 percent support to Berg's 42 percent support. The poll released Saturday, conducted for Forum Communications Co. by Essman/Research, had Berg leading 50 percent to 40 percent.
Heitkamp's internal poll shows the former Attorney General with a 17-point advantage among independents (48 percent to Berg's 31 percent). It places her favorability at 50 percent, and unfavorables at 38 percent. Meanwhile, Berg's favorables are just 42 percent to 43 percent unfavorable in the poll.
A polling memo from The Mellman Group calls the Essman poll "clearly an outlier," noting that most polls have shown the race to be a dead heat. The memo says the Essman survey "has an absurdly small number of Democrats" in the sample (19 percent, while 2008 exit polls showed Democrats comprising 28 percent of the electorate, and 27 percent in 2004).