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ND Pharos Poll

ND Pharos Poll

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Published by Rob Port
Pharos Research poll for North Dakota, early November.
Pharos Research poll for North Dakota, early November.

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Published by: Rob Port on Nov 06, 2012
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North Dakota Polling Report 11/2/12-11/5/12

ANALYSIS Pharos Research Group did a live call poll of 503 likely voters in North Dakota from November2, 2012 through November 5, 2012. The breakdown was 249 men, 254 women, representing a 50/50 split. There were 142 self-identified Democrats, 212 self-identified Republicans and 149 Independents representing a 28/42/30 split. The numbers read like this: in the general election for President, 38% of respondents indicated an intention to vote for President Barack Obama, while 55% indicated a preference for Republican nominee Willard “Mitt” Romney. In the United States Senate race, 47% prefer the Democratic, former Attorney General Heidi Heitkamp, while 49% chose Republican nominee, Congressman Rick Berg. Our modeling is based on a geographic model of the state based on the 2010 census. A caution with this: North Dakota does not have voter registration, and as a result, the roughly 10,000-15,000 transient workers in the state are eligible to vote if they have been resident for 30 days. In most states, a hard to identify and hard to measure group of 10,000-15,000 would not be a major hurdle, but when roughly 300,000 voters turnout in a typical election, this marks a 3-5% “wild card” which makes the precision of polling very difficult. To account for this, we changed our likely voter model, but realistically, it is very difficult to account for people with no land line, many of whom have cellular numbers outside of the 701 area code. The trend in the race is clearly towards Rick Berg, he has been making up ground in our polling for the length of the polling. Former Attorney General Heitkamp has run a professional and competitive campaign. As one blogger put it “she is the best possible candidate with the exception of the incumbent (Kent Conrad)” but to win the election, she needs a near perfect storm: high turnout in the eastern third of the state and a lot of people splitting their ballot. To beat the lean of the state, she has to capture 60% or more of the independent vote. If it can be done, she has run the campaign to do it. Still, looking at the final poll, it is difficult to see this as anything but an uphill climb for her. The most likely result we can see is a narrow win for Rep. Berg, somewhere between 2-5 points. Given the polling numbers, a Heitkamp win is not impossible, but neither would we say it is likely.

S2) 1= 2= CODE SEX 1= Female 2=Male 254 50% 249 50%

S3) Do you consider yourself a Democrat or a Republican or are you an Independent? CODE 1= Democrat, 2= Republican, 3= Independent 1= 142 28% 2= 212 42% 3= 149 30% P1) Thinking about the election for President, if the election were held today would you vote for (rotate) Barack Obama or Mitt Romney? (Probe for undecided, ask lean) CODE 1= Obama, 2= Romney, 3= Undecided/Other 1= 192 38% 2= 280 56% 3= 31 6% P2) Thinking about the election for the US Senate, if the election were held today would you vote for (rotate) Heidi Heitkamp or Rick Berg? (Probe once for undecided, ask lean) CODE 1= Heitkamp, 2= Berg, 3=Undecided 1= 238 47% 2= 245 49% 3= 20 4% Regional Breakdown: Southeast Northeast Southwest Northwest 152 110 137 104 30% 22% 27% 20%

For the regional breakdown, we divided the state into four parts using Interstate 94 to mark North/South and Hwy 281 and a line up from Jamestown to mark east/west. Fargo/Cass was included in Southeast, Bismarck/Mandan was included in the Southwest. For the east/west, any county that was divided by the line described was included in the east. PARTICULARS: 503 Likely Voters, surveyed by live calls November2, 2012 through November 5, 2012. Landline only. Margin of error +/- 4.4%


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