Has Heidi Heitkamp Written Off Western North Dakota?

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Things aren’t going well for Heidi Heitkamp in the polls of late. Of the six independent polls conducted in the North Dakota Senate race, two of them show her tied with Rick Berg and four of them show her losing by anywhere from 5 to 10 points. As we come down to the “red zone” in the election season, and with the most recent campaign disclosure reports showing the Heitkamp spending more than she’s taking it, it appears as though her campaign is in triage mode.

Specifically, it appears as though Heitkamp has all but written off the western part of the state. The Heitkamp campaign keeps a careful chronicle of the candidate’s campaign events on their official Twitter feed, and a review of the postings there indicate very few trips into the western part of the state in the 84 days since August 1.

Heitkamp made a trip west in September, stopping in Dickinson and Mott during a trip that seemed planned to coincide with her address to the North Dakota Petroleum Council’s annual meeting in Medora. In October Heitkamp made a stop in New Town to campaign on the Fort Berthold Indian Reservation, and in August Heitkamp made stops in Glen Ullin and Dickinson.

Aside from those stops, Heitkamp doesn’t appear to have ventured any further west than Minot and Bismarck. Not even to Williston, the heart of the Bakken oil boom (it appears as though Heitkamp’s last trip there was in February ).

Focusing a political campaign on the eastern part of the state may make sense given that most of North Dakota’s population is there, but western North Dakota is by far the fastest growing part of the state. So much so that Republicans have invested in a big get-out-the-vote operation there.

I wrote earlier this month that voters in the western part of the state may well be a wildcard in the Senate race. Polling done in the state may not be taking into account the rapid population growth out west. The assumption, seemly backed up by Heitkamp’s campaign habits, is that western voters are going to tilt heavily toward Republicans. The question is how many of the state’s new citizens in the west will turn up to vote?

If they turn out in force, Berg may have a bigger win here in North Dakota than many expect.

Rob Port is the editor of SayAnythingBlog.com. In 2011 he was a finalist for the Watch Dog of the Year from the Sam Adams Alliance and winner of the Americans For Prosperity Award for Online Excellence. In 2013 the Washington Post named SAB one of the nation's top state-based political blogs, and named Rob one of the state's best political reporters. He writes a weekly column for several North Dakota newspapers, and also serves as a policy fellow for the North Dakota Policy Council.

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  • Albert Dunderfinch

    Western North Dakota has a terrible infestation of low information voters, but also a lot of people who do read and know the importance of supporting Heidi. It will be such a ray of sunshine if Heidi can run the greed rat Berg out of the game. To actually have someone who cares about ordinary people instead of tax breaks for the rich, and bonuses for military contractors. If North Dakota comes out of the cloud of stupidity induced by Rush and Fox, with a little help from Rob, we can possibly wake up after the election and feel some pride we are no longer associated with the pathetic bible belt states like Mississippi, Alabama, and all those poorly educated states brimming with red Necks. To be this far North and still suffer from racism and ignorance is a sad thing, but if thinking people get out and vote and the low information bunch stays home we can have a victory for democracy against the greed of Rob and his gang of selfish Republicans.

    • Sky Rider

      You know, for your hatred of conservatives, Christians, the Constitution, and a strong America with a healthy economy. You sure spend a lot of time reading this blog. If it makes you so angry that you have to call people names, why don’t you just stick to the MSNBC website and see if you can match Chris Mathews thrill for thrill.

      • Albert Dunderfinch

        Fighting the selfish rats of greed takes a lot of time, but the failure to stand up to them has got us in this mess. The Republican greed driven rats are like weeds once they get out of control it is hopeless, so it is necessary to stomp them down every time they try to start a new urban legend or another right wng fantasy. Good people standing together against the agents of greed is what made this country great. I am proud to fight the right wing rats back into their holes of selfishness

        • Tim Heise

          King George was a liberal.

        • Hal625

          You are really proud of yourself for being such a poor representative of the Democrat party. Please keep commenting, reminding the readers why voting for a Democrat is a self defeating proposition.

    • NDSiouxFan

      Typical liberal. Conservitaves (and Republicans) are stupid. Liberals (and Democrats) are enlightened, intelligent, and much smarter than those low-life conservatives.
      That is exactly why the North Dakota Democratic party is in such tough shape. North Dakotans see right through that condecending attitude. What a jerk.

    • matthew_bosch

      I’m concluding these canned comments can only be coming from one of two types of individuals.
      1. Lock step delusional Socialist or
      2. A trolling conservative.

      My waning hope for human intellect wants to desperately believe its the latter.

      • 308T

        His name is Mike Quinn(Lord Kadizzle) & he lives in Hazen,ND & as you can see he’s a real POS.

        • NRA Dupe

          Thanks for the info, we are lucky to have brave gun men like you to protect us. Surely without your diligence the Muslims would be over running us right now. By the way exactly what are you afraid off? When you shower how do you stay safe is the gun in the bathroom near enough to the shower that you can feel safe. Why is it you need the protection of a gun and so many normal people can live normal lives without being armed? Thanks again brave gun man for protecting us all from the boggy man.

          • tomorrowclear

            t is puzzling given the paucity of Negroes in North Dakota.

          • Hal625

            You are a low information commenter. 308T didn’t need to provide any info, you have done that by yourself because you don’t understand the technology you use.

    • badlands4

      If you are going to use a sock puppet(i believe that is the proper term used here), you should probably quit using the exact same phrases(and I mean exact) as you do when you use your “real” name.

      Odd how you will post your personal phone number with no problem, but feel the need to hide behind another name. I wonder why?

      • Robert Portly

        Is your real name badlands4? What is your real phone number Mr. brave?

        • badlands4

          A) it is Mrs. Brave to you and putting your real life name and phone number down on this blog makes you a fool, not brave. Furthermore, it is beyond bizarre to have someone put their real number down and go on some kind of incoherent rant about monetary bets and what it implies if you don’t put your own number and money up against a stranger who is conducting that rant.

          B) I don’t understand why anyone, outside of Rob would use their real life name here, but it is even more baffling that one would take their “real” username(which is obviously what I meant) and then make up another username to pretend you are someone else, BUT use the exact, and I do mean exact, same phrases as the “real” you.

          C) I especially don’t understand why Mr. Quinn uses any name outside of his own at all on this blog *considering*he puts out his real phone number(which is incredibly foolish btw considering the mental stability of some people on here. WHY would you want someone to be able to track down where you live or stalk you via phone??) and has had an article written about him in the New York Times. It is beyond my comprehension why he thinks it is wise to post his personal phone number here but if he is going to do it why use multiple usernames?

          So, in short, you are an idiot, not brave if you put your personal information on this blog but you are bizarre if you post things under various names vs just keeping your “real” name.

    • Hal625

      Western ND is very engaged fully aware of the issues. I’m glad to see that you and the Democrats are writing them off and attacking issues important to them ensuring a Republican majority in ND for generations.

    • http://ndgoon.blogspot.com Goon

      So if we don’t vote for Heidi we’re uninformed… I am voting for Berg because our country can’t afford the democrats trash and spend anymore.

  • JW -American

    I know yard sign polling is very sketchy at best, but 3 weeks ago we traveled the state loop, fargo gf minot wil, dix, bis, jst, fargo

    From Minot west, Hide-yee signs were rare, but rarer yet were Taylor signs. Cramer signs seemed to out number Berg signs, but that was the weekend of oct 8th.

  • philipgray

    Anybody who has ever known a Heitkamp in Hankinson, Mantador, Cayuga, Lidgerwood and my hometown knows they are capable of anything…
    The new ads do not surprise me but it is a little to late to save the socialists from Mantador.
    The Heitkamps, and yes that includes the HEIDI heifers, know what they are capable of.
    Think of this…
    If HEIDI HEIFER does not win, it is over for the crew….
    Would’nt that be just as nice as apple crisp if that happened?
    I would think so. I will not repeat my facts about them…
    When a person of such low personal credentials stoop to this…allow it…realize how desperate they truely are as people and candidates…
    Joel……..you know my number…anytime….anyplace…
    Heidi…desperation in politics shows as person’s true persona….
    YOU suck HEIDI….been saying it for 30 years guys…
    Let the lickspittles.>>>PORTLYS…and the like comment…will not respond to kids….
    Laughing my ass off thinking of what Joel will say tomorrow….
    Little info here….
    Joel or Heidi will not win in his own area?
    Ask yourselves why…some of us already knew long ago
    Senator Rick Berg….I will say by 9-12 points…mark it…
    It is amazing what people post…
    I know Heidi and the Heitkamps…personally and what the real Heitkamps are…
    I will not bow down or expect no less then the socialists lickspittles people comment on…
    Guys…ignore the lefties on here and just keep posting positives about the
    HEIDI HINDENBERG going down in flames….should be a riot to watch

  • philipgray

    Anybody who has ever known a Heitkamp in Hankinson, Mantador, Cayuga, Lidgerwood and my hometown knows they are capable of anything…
    The new ads do not surprise me but it is a little to late to save the socialists from Mantador.
    The Heitkamps, and yes that includes the HEIDI heifers, know what they are capable of.
    Think of this…
    If HEIDI HEIFER does not win, it is over for the crew….
    Would’nt that be just as nice as apple crisp if that happened?
    I would think so. I will not repeat my facts about them…
    When a person of such low personal credentials stoop to this…allow it…realize how desperate they truely are as people and candidates…
    Joel……..you know my number…anytime….anyplace…
    Heidi…desperation in politics shows as person’s true persona….
    YOU suck HEIDI….been saying it for 30 years guys…
    Let the lickspittles.>>>PORTLYS…and the like comment…will not respond to kids….
    Laughing my ass off thinking of what Joel will say tomorrow….
    Little info here….
    Joel or Heidi will not win in his own area?
    Ask yourselves why…some of us already knew long ago
    Senator Rick Berg….I will say by 9-12 points…mark it…

  • Robert Portlly

    Want to see exactly how Fox News and Rob Port work? Check out the latest John Stewart show. John McCain quotes Obama out of context on Fox. McCain complains an hour before the show is on the air. It is so clear it is a Fox set up. The big game on Fox was to quote Obama as saying “Not Optimal” about Libya. Of course Fox did the old selective out of context jazz. John Stewart has a good time showing how Fox does it’s dirty work. Now lets see some right wing dinger refute this. Of course your first normal course of action for right wing dingers will be not to address the issue, but to attack John Stewart. Go dingers

  • juliusstahl

    Feeling proud of my homies in Medora.

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