In 2012, 33 senate races will be contested. Many will be decidedly easily, but many will probably be close. One that may be close is the North Dakota senate race, which will almost certainly pit Democrat Heidi Heitkamp vs. Republican Rick Berg.
North Dakota’s politics
In elections for President, North Dakota has been strongly Republican. McCain beat Obama 53-45, Bush beat Kerry 63-35 and Bush beat Gore 61-33. It hasn’t been polled much in 2012, but I don’t think many people expect it to be close. That, plus the fact that North Dakota has only 3 electoral votes, means it will probably not see much attention from the Obama or Romney campaigns.
Statewide, one of North Dakota’s senators is a Democrat (Kent Conrad, who is retiring) and one is a Republican (John Hoeven). Its only representative in the House is also Republican: Rick Berg (who is running for Senate).
The North Dakota Senate race
The North Dakota senate seat is open because the current senator (Kent Conrad) is retiring. Heidi Heitkamp is a former attorney general of North Dakota and currently directs a synthetic fuels program. Rick Berg is currently its representative in the House. There is another Republican running, but polls show Berg way ahead in the Republican primary.
Heidi Heitkamp The Democratic candidate for Senate in North Dakota
Heidi Heitkamp is not currently in office, so On the Issues has relatively few recorded positions for her. She has expressed qualified support for Obama’s health care program and has also expressed some support for balancing the budget. Her own website says she favors a diversified energy policy, cites her strong fight against big tobacco as attorney general, and notes that she favors one of the toughest laws in the nation against sexual predators.
Rick Berg: The Republican candidate for Senate in North Dakota:
Rick Berg is a member of the House of Representatives. Berg opposes a woman’s right to choose. He proposed a balanced budget amendment to the US Constitution. Berg does not approve of efforts to curb pollution or greenhouse gasses. He opposes Obama’s health care program. On the Issues rates him as conservative on social issues and moderate-conservative on economic issues.
The North Dakota senate race has been relatively little polled; an independent poll on May 15 showed Berg up by 7 points, but a recent poll sponsored by the Democratic party had Heitkamp up by 5. The former poll has been questioned, because it’s a poll of likely primary voters, and there is no Democratic primary.
- June 8: A Mason Dixon poll has Heitkamp up by 1
- July 12: A Rasmussen poll has Berg up by 9
- July 28: A DFM poll has Heitkamp up by 6
- Sep 29: DFM now has Heitkamp by 4
- Oct 10: Mason Dixon has it tied
- Oct 23: Essman Research has Berg by 10; Mellman Research has Heitkamp by 3; Rasmussen has Berg by 5
- Oct 25: Pharos has Heitkamp by 1
- Oct 26: Mellman Research has Heitkamp by 1
- Oct 30: Pharos has Heitkamp by 2
- Oct 31: Mason Dixon has Berg by 2
Rick Berg has raised about $2.7 million and Heidi Heitkamp about $1.2 million.
- June 1: Between April 1 and May 23, Heitkamp raised a little more than Berg: $497,000 vs. $443,000. The numbers above do not include this.
- July 12: For the quarter, Heitkamp raised $977 thousand
- July 13: For the quarter Berg raised $1.3 million
- Oct 16: For the quarter, Berg raised $1.6 million and has $1.5 million COH
Election results: http://useleckionatlas.org/RESULTS/
Polls: http://www.realclearpolitics.com/epolls/2012/senate/fl/North Dakota_senate_Berg_vs_Heitkamp-1847.html
Fundraising and other stuff http://www.opencongress.org/wiki/FL-Senate_Class_I_Seat
North Dakota congreesmembers: http://www.house.gov/representatives/
On the issues: Berg: http://www.issues2000.org/Senate/Rick_Berg.htm
Heitkamp’s website: http://heidifornorthdakota.com/