The Washington Times - October 8, 2012, 08:05PM

Democratic Heidi Heitkamp, once considered a long shot to win North Dakota’s open Senate seat, is locked in a dead heat with GOP candidate Rep. Rick Berg, a new poll says.

The results of a Mason-Dixon survey released Monday afternoon show both candidates with 47 percent of the vote, with 6 percent undecided.


But Mrs. Heitkamp is “recognized favorably” by 46 percent of the respondents, compared with 42 percent for Mr. Berg. The Democrat’s “unfavorable” rating of 35 percent is two percentage-points lower than her opponent.

A similar percent of voters have “neutral” opinions of the candidates; 20 percent for Mr. Berg and 18 percent for Mrs. Heitkamp.

The telephone survey of 625 likely voters has a margin of error of plus-or-minus 4 percent.

This is the first major independent poll taken in the race since July, when a Rasmussen Reports survey showed Mr. Berg up 9-percentage points. A Mason-Dixon poll of the race from early June showed Mrs. Heitkamp with a 1-percentage point advantage.