Latest Democratic-sponsored poll reflects tight U.S. Senate race

FARGO – North Dakota Democrats have released another internal poll on the state’s U.S. Senate race that echoes the neck-and-neck perception of the contest between its two likely candidates.

The recent Democratic-NPL poll shows Democrat Heidi Heitkamp with 45 percent of likely voters support, compared to 44 percent who favor Republican Rep. Rick Berg. Eleven percent were undecided at the time of the survey, which was conducted three weeks ago by DFM Research of St. Paul, Minn.

The poll had an above-normal margin of error for its surveys of both today’s primary contest and the likely general election match-up between Berg and Heitkamp.

According to the methodology, the general election survey carried a margin of error of plus or minus 5.6 percentage points, while the primary poll results have a margin of error of plus or minus 9 percentage points. Political polls usually have a margin of error of less than plus/minus 5 percent.

DFM Research surveyed 308 likely general election voters and 197 likely primary voters between May 22-25.

Berg, North Dakota Republicans’ endorsed candidate, faces a primary challenge today from Duane Sand.

In the Dems’ latest poll, Berg took 61 percent of likely Republican primary voters’ support, while Sand carried 19 percent, with 20 percent undecided.

North Dakota Democrats released their latest poll results just days after an independent poll conducted and released last week by Valley News Live and KFYR showed similar findings.

That media poll also showed Heitkamp and Berg deadlocked, with Heitkamp ahead by only one percentage point.

Democrats have previously released two internal polls since November, in an attempt to discredit Berg’s campaign and reflect progress in Heitkamp’s run.

Most national political analysts have declared North Dakota’s U.S. Senate race as either a “toss-up” or “leans Republican.”

Both parties are eyeing the seat as one to win in November, because it’s among a few hotly contested seats that could tip the balance of power in the Senate next year.