Pridemore: It was all off the record

Josh Feit of the political blog Publicola reported Wednesday that state Sen. Craig Pridemore has a new poll showing he’s leading fellow Democrat Denny Heck in the high-profile 3rd Congressional District race.

Pridemore, clearly peeved, told The Columbian the disclosure of the poll in his interview with Feit was supposed to be off the record.

The robopoll was conducted “three or four weeks ago” and polled voters across the 3rd Congressional District, Pridemore said. It indicated, he said, that “we were ahead throughout the district.”

“We’re encouraged by the results,” he told Feit. “We are definitely ahead in name recognition, in votes, in favorability.”

However, the poll posited a matchup only between Pridemore and Heck and did not measure Pridemore’s support in a field that includes the two leading Republican candidates, state Rep. Jaime Herrera and Olympia financial consultant David Castillo. All candidates for the open seat will compete in the Aug. 17 top two primary.

“The poll is not very scientific,” Pridemore said. “In my opinion, it’s not newsworthy. It’s purely thumbnail: Where do we need to focus? At some point we’ll do a real poll.”

Pridemore, D-Vancouver, said his name familiarity in the district is not surprising, given his long tenure as a Clark County commissioner and state senator. About half the district’s voters live in Clark County.

In the most recent federal campaign finance filings, Heck reported a half million dollars in campaign funds, including $250,000 he has loaned to his campaign. Pridemore, who was limited in his ability to raise funds during the 2010 Legislative session, reported $83,000.

He said he’s not fazed by the fund-raising gap. “I am not concerned about having enough money. If you compare the first three months of the quarter, (Heck) didn’t outraise me by that much.”

Kathie Durbin

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