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By Ryan Johnson, Forum Communications Co., Published April 28 2010

Poll: Hoeven leading Potter

Gov. John Hoeven is maintaining a strong lead over state Sen. Tracy Potter for North Dakota’s U.S. Senate race, according to a new poll released on Tuesday.

The latest poll shows Hoeven leading Potter 69 percent to 24 percent, based on Rasmussen Reports’ telephone survey of 500 likely North Dakota voters.

The poll, conducted April 20, has a margin of error of plus or minus 4.5 percentage points.

The spread is largely unchanged from a March 23 Rasmussen poll, which put Republican Hoeven ahead of Democrat Potter 68 percent to 25 percent. In both polls, just 2 percent of respondents said they would vote for another candidate in the race and 5 percent were undecided.

A similar poll conducted Feb. 9-10 showed Hoeven with a slightly higher edge, 71 percent to 17 percent over Potter.

Of those surveyed this month, 82 percent had “very” or “somewhat” favorable impressions of Hoeven. And 43 percent had good impressions of Potter.

But only 2 percent of respondents were unsure what they thought of Hoeven, while 26 percent were undecided with Potter.

Potter, a state senator from Bismarck and former Grand Forks resident, got the Democratic-NPL Party endorsement last month to run for the seat Sen. Byron Dorgan, D-N.D., has held since 1992. Dorgan announced earlier this year that he would not seek re-election.

Hoeven, the governor since 2000, got the GOP endorsement last month.

Libertarian candidate Keith Hanson of West Fargo will also be on the ballot for the U.S. Senate.

Ryan Johnson is a writer for the Grand Forks Herald, which is owned by Forum Communications Co.