The Corner


Republican Challenger Maintains Healthy Lead over Heitkamp in North Dakota Senate Race

Republican congressman Kevin Cramer leads incumbent Democrat Heidi Heitkamp by nine points in the North Dakota Senate race, according to new polling released last night by Fox News.

It’s the fifth consecutive survey showing Cramer with a lead substantial enough to be outside the poll’s margin of error. Prior to this Fox News poll, the most recent survey showed the GOP representative ahead of Heitkamp by a stunning 16 points. The same poll showed the two candidates with nearly inverse favorable/unfavorable numbers: Thirty-seven percent of voters view Heitkamp favorably while 52 percent view her unfavorably. Meanwhile, 53 percent of North Dakotans say they view Cramer favorably, compared with 38 percent who view him unfavorably.

Today in Fargo, N.D., former vice president Joe Biden will host a rally with Heitkamp, a sign that the Democratic campaign is focusing on driving up turnout among her left-wing base, which is heavily concentrated around Fargo in the eastern portion of the state.

In a poll of the state from just after the primary election in mid June, Mason-Dixon found that Heitkamp led Cramer by nearly 20 percent in Fargo and surrounding Cass County, and by 3 percent in eastern North Dakota as a whole. Cramer boasted a 20-point advantage in the Bismarck/Mandan area and in the western part of the state.

Heitkamp’s choice to campaign with Biden in Fargo with the election just days away suggests that she has largely given up appealing to the moderate and Republican voters she desperately needs to keep her seat and will instead bank on achieving high turnout among Democrats.

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