Kevin Cramer

North Dakota Senate Race Could Come Down to Fossil Fuels
The problem? Heitkamp and Cramer have strikingly similar stances on energy

Sen. Heidi Heitkamp and Rep. Kevin Cramer are vying for North Dakota’s Senate seat. They’re also racing to show off their energy chops. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

The two candidates in the North Dakota Senate race — a tight matchup with massive implications for control of the chamber next Congress — are touting their Capitol Hill energy policy chops to gain an edge in one of the closest contests of the midterms. 

The race has triggered an escalating argument between vulnerable Democratic incumbent Heidi Heitkamp and her GOP challenger, Rep. Kevin Cramer, over which one is the best champion of the state’s fossil fuel industries that rank among the most productive in the nation.

Cramer Counters Health Care Attacks With New Ad
North Dakota Republican is on defense in Senate race over pre-existing conditions

Rep. Kevin Cramer, R-N.D., is challenging Sen. Heidi Heitkamp, D-N.D., in a high-profile Senate race. Here, the two attend an event with National Guardsmen in Bismarck, N.D., in August. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

North Dakota Rep. Kevin Cramer is taking to the airwaves to combat Democratic ads that spotlight the Republican Senate candidate’s health care positions.

The new Cramer ad features images of three Democratic spots — two of them from outside Democratic groups and one from Democratic incumbent Heidi Hetikamp’s campaign. Cramer has been calling on Heitkamp to take down her own campaign’s ad, saying she is citing inaccurate information about how his health care votes would have affected people with pre-existing conditions.

Surprisingly, the Senate Is Now in Play
Despite heavy odds stacked against them, Democrats are in the hunt

Rep. Kyrsten Sinema, D-Ariz., must win her Arizona Senate race for Democrats to have a chance at winning back the chamber. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

ANALYSIS — I have argued repeatedly that while the House is up for grabs — and indeed likely to flip to the Democrats in November — the Senate is not in play. I now believe that it is, so I must revise and extend my remarks.

Only about three weeks ago, I reiterated my view that Democrats didn’t have a path to a net gain of two Senate seats, which they need for a chamber majority. But a flurry of state and national polls conducted over the past few weeks suggest Democratic prospects have improved noticeably, giving the party a difficult but discernible route for control.

Koch Network Forms a New Super PAC
Americans for Prosperity Action to directly support candidates

Tim Phillips, president of Americans for Prosperity, told donors that the organization wouldn’t support Republican candidates who are not in line with their policy positions. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Americans for Prosperity, one of the conservative policy-focused arms of the network of organizations backed by the billionaire Koch brothers, is getting into the super PAC business.

“Our mission is to help improve lives by breaking the barriers holding people back, and that requires building the policy coalitions in Washington to get it done. Americans for Prosperity has been a difference-maker supporting policy champions in tight races, and AFP Action is a new tool that will allow us to expand those efforts and make an even larger impact,” Americans for Prosperity Action Spokesman Bill Riggs said in a statement accompanying the launch.

At the Races: Who's in Trouble Two Months Out
Our weekly newsletter on congressional campaigns

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Welcome to At the Races! You can keep track of House and Senate races with this weekly newsletter by subscribing here. We want to hear what you think. Email us at attheraces@cqrollcall.com with your questions, tips or candidate sightings. — Simone Pathé, Bridget Bowman and Stephanie Akin

The 10 Most Vulnerable Senators in 2018: Heidi Heitkamp Moves to Top Spot
North Dakota Democrat tops Roll Call’s latest list of endangered Senate incumbents

Sen. Heidi Heitkamp, D-N.D., tops the list of most vulnerable Senate incumbents. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Democrats continue to dominate the latest list of the most vulnerable Senate incumbents two months out from Election Day, with North Dakota Sen. Heidi Heitkamp moving into the top spot.

Heitkamp displaces Nevada Sen. Dean Heller, who nevertheless remains the most vulnerable incumbent on the Republican side and the only GOP senator running in a state Hillary Clinton won in 2016.

Koch Network Endorses 8 GOP House Members in Competitive Races
Conservative megadonors have pivoted their political strategy, raised Trump’s ire

Rep. Erik Paulsen, R-Minn., is one of the House members who Americans for Prosperity announced it would support. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

The political arm of the Koch conservative brothers’ network announced the House candidates it would support as it shifts its political strategy.

Americans for Prosperity named eight members of Congress in competitive races as its “policy champions.”

Heitkamp Spotlights Hometown in New TV Ad
North Dakota Democrat is working with the same ad-maker as 2012 cycle

Sen. Heidi Heitkamp, D-N.D., talks with constituents at Amvets Club in Bismarck, N.D., on Aug. 17. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

Sen. Heidi Heitkamp is continuing the local focus of her campaign ads, highlighting her hometown of Mantador, North Dakota, in her latest television ad.

“In every small town in North Dakota, I see my hometown of Mantador,” the Democrat says over sweeping shots of the rural town. “I see my dad in every road construction crew. And my mom in every school janitor. I know how hard North Dakotans work.”

Is the Senate Up for Grabs Yet?
The map and demographics still give the edge to Republicans

Sen. Jon Tester, D-Mont., talks with constituents before a parade at Crow Fair in Crow Agency, Mont., on August 19, 2018. Tester is being challenged by Republican Matt Rosendale for the Senate seat. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

ANALYSIS — President Donald Trump’s problems continue to mount, raising more questions about turnout and how independent voters and college-educated women will vote. But the Senate map remains daunting for Democrats, and the polarized nature of our politics continues to limit Democrats’ Senate prospects.

While handicappers generally label Nevada as a toss-up and the early polls are tight, the Democratic nominee, Rep. Jacky Rosen has an edge over incumbent Republican Dean Heller in a state that went narrowly for Hillary Clinton in 2016.

At the Races: Into the Badlands
Our weekly newsletter on congressional campaigns

Welcome to At the Races! You can keep track of House and Senate races with this weekly newsletter by subscribing here. We want to hear what you think. Email us at attheraces@cqrollcall.com with your questions, tips or candidate sightings. — Simone Pathé and Bridget Bowman