The Doug Burgum campaign just announced that they have filed their petition to be on the June primary ballot. Law requires 300 signatures; the campaigns says they turned in over 600.
Today was the deadline.
The campaign is also releasing a polling memo they say shows Burgum in a “statistical tie” with Stenehjem.
“According to the poll, Burgum has already turned a 45-point deficit at the end of February to a statistical tie at the end of last week,” a press release from the campaign states.
You can read the full polling memo below. Here are the results, compared to to an earlier poll also conducted by the Burgum campaign:
The problem with comparing these polls – the Burgum campaign poll with the previous DFM poll – is that their provenance isn’t quite equal.
The Burgum poll was commissioned by the Burgum campaign, and based on reports I got from SAB readers around the state it was a push poll. The question on preferred candidates came after a bunch of questions and statements favorable for Burgum.
I asked Burgum campaign spokeswoman Kate Mund if she could provide a list of the questions asked poll respondents, and the order in which they were asked, and she said this polling memo was all she had. As you can see below, the polling memo does not have that information.
Which is pretty important for this poll to be taken seriously. You can read the DFM polling memo here. You’ll note that one contained a list of the questions asked and the order in which they were asked.
I have no doubt that Burgum has made up significant ground in terms of name recognition and support against Burgum, but I’d be very surprised if a “statistical tie” represented the true sentiment of voters.
Still, a clear indication that Stenehjem needs to get in the game against Burgum, sooner rather than later.
UPDATE: Mund sent a clarifying email. “I checked with the team, and the ballot question was asked prior to any probing questions about Doug or Wayne,” she tells me. “To clarify the 44-40, it is the topline result of this question: If the June Republican primary election for Governor were held today, for whom would you vote if the candidates were: (ROTATE) Doug Burgum [BER-GUM], Paul Sorum [SORE-UM], and Wayne Stenehjem [STEN-JEM].”
Fair enough, though I still think we need to see all the questions. Message polling or push polling, where candidates test talking points and campaign messages on voters, are intended to help shape public opinion not measure it.