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GOP pleased with poll results; Dems call it 'flawed'

FARGO -- The top three candidates vying for North Dakota's U.S. House seat offered mixed reviews Friday of a Forum Communications Co. poll that found the two Republicans with a sizeable advantage in the contest.

Democrat Pam Gulleson criticized the poll as "deeply flawed," while Republicans Kevin Cramer and Brian Kalk were pleased with the poll's snapshot of the competitive race.

Six months before the general election, the Forum poll of 500 likely voters found either Kalk or Cramer would be likely to win over Gulleson.

In the June 12 primary contest, though, a large proportion of Republican voters are undecided between Cramer and Kalk, the endorsed candidate.

According to the poll, 38 percent of likely Republican primary voters planned to vote for Cramer, 25 percent said they'd support Kalk and 37 percent were undecided with one month to go before the primary.

The primary will determine which Republican takes on Gulleson in the November general election.

Essman/Research of Des Moines, Iowa, conducted the telephone survey May 3 to May 8. The poll had a margin of error of plus or minus 4.3 percentage points.

Gulleson's campaign sought to discredit the poll because likely primary voters were asked to weigh in on general election scenarios. That's the same criticism national and state Democrats had Thursday, when a Forum Communications poll of the U.S. Senate contest showed Republican Rep. Rick Berg leading Democrat Heidi Heitkamp, 51 percent to 44 percent, with 5 percent undecided.

Daum is a reporter for The Forum of Fargo-Moorhead, which is owned by Forum Communications Co.