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Forum staff reports, Published October 27 2010

LATEST: New poll shows Pomeroy with slim lead over Berg; Congressional race still deadheat

In the latest poll of North Dakota voters, Democrat Rep. Earl Pomeroy is leading his race for re-election over Republican challenger Rick Berg by a single percentage point.

The poll, conducted by The Hill, is the first showing the incumbent Pomeroy leading in a race to be decided next Tuesday.

“While most Democrats are freefalling in polls, Rep. Earl Pomeroy (D-N.D.) is on the rise,” The Hill reports. “Down in the polls earlier this year, Pomeroy – who opposed climate change and backed healthcare reform – is leading in his race by one point.”

The poll results, with a margin of 4.9 percent, are based on 398 phone interviews from Oct. 16-19 among likely voters, meaning the race is still a virtual deadheat.

“Pomeroy’s experience in Washington is actually helping him,” The Hill reports today. “Forty-five percent of surveyed voters said his time in Washington is a reason to vote for him, while 35 percent said it’s a reason to vote against the 58-year-old lawmaker.”

Pomeroy, a member of the Ways and Means Committee, is seeking his 10th term.

Among those polled, 9 percent were uncertain who they would cast a vote for in the Berg-Pomeroy race, while 1 percent each said they preferred someone else or would not vote.

While Pomeroy shows a marginal lead, some of the poll’s details don’t trend favorably for the incumbent.

Pomeroy received a very favorable or somewhat favorable ranking by 49 percent of those surveyed. Berg received the same percentage.

But 44 percent of likely voters said they have a somewhat unfavorable or very unfavorable view of Pomeroy, compared to 31 percent with similar views of Republican Berg.

In other poll results, 43 percent of those surveyed said they approved of President Obama’s job performance, while 53 percent disapproved.

The numbers are even more stark for Congress as a whole: 28 percent approve of lawmakers’ performance while 66 disapproved.

For more details on the poll and race, read The Forum on Thursday.