Republican Rep. Kevin Cramer will take North Dakota’s Senate seat from Sen. Heidi Heitkamp, The Western Journal projects.
Heitkamp, a Democrat, had been considered vulnerable, leading to an array of big-name Democrats to visit the state to support her, such as former Vice President Joe Biden. Big names on one side were met by big names on the other, with President Donald Trump coming to the state to support Cramer.
Although recent polls showed Cramer with a significant lead, Bo Wood, a professor of political science and public administration at the University of North Dakota in Grand Forks, said the question was turnout, according to the Bismarck Tribune.
“It really comes down to who can get their people to stop what they’re doing and go to the polls,” Wood said.
Heitkamp tried to portray herself as a centrist who gets things done.
“One side is not always right,” Heitkamp has said, according to Yahoo News. “The left doesn’t always have it right. The right doesn’t always have it right.”
However, her opposition to confirming Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh cost her support in a generally conservative state.
During the campaign, Cramer aligned himself firmly with the president.
“President Trump’s record of cutting taxes, eliminating harmful regulations, and working to combat illegal immigration deeply resonates with North Dakota voters,” Cramer said, according to the Bismarck Tribune.
Heitkamp sought to portray that as a negative, according to Roll Call.
“Congressman Cramer has basically said, ‘I should get elected because the president likes me better than he likes her, and I’ll be with him 100 percent of the time,’” Heitkamp said. “I’m saying, ‘vote for me because I’m from North Dakota, not from a political party.'”
But Cramer said that as a congressman, he has helped deliver for the state’s voters.
“They’re really pleased with Donald Trump, they’re pleased with Republican leadership, and I get to take credit for my part in all of that,” Cramer said.
During a late October debate, tensions burst into view during an exchange between the two candidates, as reported by The Washington Post.
Cramer listed some GOP leaders who support getting rid of Obamacare to give states more power and added that he was “pretty sure that Heidi Heitkamp isn’t the smartest person out of that whole group,” The Post reported.
“Kevin, you have not explained why you have voted five times to repeal with no replacement,” Heitkamp said, referring to Cramer’s current role as a GOP congressman.
“Because rates are skyrocketing,” Cramer replied.
“You are taking away protections on preexisting conditions,” Heitkamp said. Cramer countered that North Dakota already codified those protections.
“This is such an important discussion,” Heitkamp said in closing. “The Affordable Care Act has good parts and bad parts. I have been working to fix the bad. You have been working to eliminate it for purely partisan reasons.”
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