NORTH DAKOTA
     Nov. 6, 2018 Senate

Gov.
Sen. 3
Sen.1
2018



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+Kevin Cramer (R)
179,720
55.11%
Heidi Heitkamp (D-NPL)
144,376
44.27%
w/ins
2,042
0.63%

326,138

Eligible voters: 579,621.  Voter turnout: 330,598.
Plurality: 35,344 votes (10.84 percentage points).
North Dakota Secretary of State




REPUBLICAN PICK-UP
Notes: Sen. Heidi Heitkamp (D) came to Election Day, Nov. 6 as possibly the most endangered incumbent Senator.  In 2016 Trump won the state by 35.73 percentage points, carrying 51 of 53 counties. 

Heitkamp, first elected to the Senate in 2012 in the closest Senate race that year; she served as tax commissioner of North Dakota (1986-92); attorney general of North Dakota (1992-2000); and the Democratic nominee for governor of North Dakota in 2000; she then went into the private sector.  Facing Heitkamp was U.S. Rep. Kevin Cramer (D), first elected in 2012.  Cramer's experience includes chairman of the ND GOP (1991-93), state tourism director (1993-97), state economic development and finance director (1997-2000), and public service commissioner (2003-12); he also was an unsuccessful candidate for Congress in 1996 and 1998.  President Trump persuaded Cramer (R) to run; Cramer announced his candidacy in Feb. 2018.   


A debate scheduled for Oct. 5 in Fargo, sponsored by Prairie Public Broadcasting, was canceled due to the vote on the Kavanaugh nomination.  (Heitkamp faced intense pressure to support Judge Kavanaugh, but ultimately decided to oppose him).  The two candidates debated on Oct. 18 at Bismarck State College in Bismarck sponsored by the North Dakota Newspaper Association (+), and on Oct. 26 in Fargo, hosted by the North Dakota Broadcasters Association (+).


Cramer was vastly outspent.  Heidi for Senate reported total receipts in 2017-18 of $29.5 million, total disbursements of $23.4 million and ending cash on hand of $6.8 million (+), while Cramer for Senate reported total receipts of $6.0 million and total disbursements of $6.1 million (+).  Open Secrets reported a total of $17.9 million in outside spending (+) of which $12 million came from the big four committees:
R
NRSC (PAC)
$2.9m

Senate Leadership Fund
 
$3.1m
D
DSCC (PAC)
$2.1m

Senate Majority PAC
$3.9m


Campaign Managers:
Kevin Cramer:  Patrick (Pat) Finken
On leave from position as president of Odney Advertising, based in North Dakota, since 1995; previously in partnership, 1990-95.  Worked for Reiten Broadcasting, 1978-80.  Studied at Minot State University.

Heidi Heitkamp:  Libby Schneider
Experience includes manager of Ryan Taylor's campaign for governor of North Dakota in 2012.



 





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