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Published September 20 2010

UPDATED: Pomeroy releases private poll showing he leads Berg in U.S. House race

Democratic-NPL incumbent Rep. Earl Pomeroy says private polling by his campaign shows he’s maintaining a slight lead over his Republican challenger – but the race remains close.

Pomeroy’s campaign released earlier today the results of a third round of private polling this campaign cycle – which indicated Pomeroy leads Fargo legislator Rick Berg, 46 percent to 44 percent, with 10 percent of voters undecided.

The Washington, D.C.-based Garin-Hart-Yang Research Group surveyed 501 likely North Dakota voters Sept. 10-12. The results have a margin of error of plus or minus 4.5 percentage points.

Polls conducted in May and July by the research group also tilted in favor of Pomeroy by two or three percentage points – although both candidates lost support over the three polls as the “undecided” category grew, according to the campaign news release.

Previously, Pomeroy had not made public the results of his private polls.

The research group lists many Democratic lawmakers and campaign committees as among its clientele, including North Dakota Sens. Byron Dorgan and Kent Conrad.

Berg campaign spokesman Tom Nelson said voters should be skeptical of Pomeroy’s private poll, since independent polling has favored Berg.

In public polls by Rasmussen Reports, Berg has led Pomeroy every month since February.

However, Rasmussen is the only pollster to quantify the race so far, and its methodology tends to skew in favor of conservatives, according to poll analyzer FiveThirtyEight.

Most other political analyses of North Dakota’s U.S. House race have qualified the Berg-Pomeroy battle as a “toss-up,” with a few giving a slight advantage to Berg.