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Agricultural commissioner race wide open, according to survey

BISMARCK — The race for North Dakota agricultural commissioner — pitting incumbent Republican Doug Goehring against former state Senate Minority Leader Ryan Taylor — is wide open, according to a new statewide poll.

Surveying 600 voters, campaign pollster The Mellman Group found Goehring and Taylor tied, each with 36 percent of the vote. Twenty-six percent of those surveyed were undecided.

Taylor earned 17 percent of Republican votes, showing strong appeal across party lines as a Democrat. He also leads 40 percent to Goehring’s 29 percent in oil-producing areas.

“Everybody has suspected that the agriculture commissioner’s race was going to be one of the most competitive races this year,” Chad Oban, executive director of the North Dakota Democratic-NPL Party, said in a release. “This poll confirms just how competitive it really is.”

The Washington, D.C.-based Mellman Group touts successfully predicting the 2012 victory of Sen. Heidi Heitkamp, D-N.D., and has been called one of the country’s most accurate pollsters.

Its margin of error for the agricultural commissioner poll is +/- 4 percent.