On Four Year Anniversary Of Her Contribution To Obama, Heitkamp’s Campaign Seems To Be Imploding


It’s been a pretty rough couple of weeks for liberal Senate candidate Heidi Heitkamp. Her opponent, Rick Berg, is getting some pretty good traction in the state with criticism of big-money contributions she solicited from an left-wing anti-nuclear group. In the three independent public polls released this week she’s trailing by wide margins, between 5 and 10 points, and in the third from Mason-Dixon (clearly an outlier) the best she could do was a tie.

The Heitkamp campaign has even taken to releasing clearly cooked polling data from Democrat pollsters which indicate that she’s winning the race, a sure sign of desperation just a couple of weeks out from election day.

Heitkamp has benefited from a perception in the media (which her campaign has worked long and hard to create) that she’s a strong, competitive candidate in a state many thought was a sure bet for Republicans. That image seems to be imploding of late, and perhaps it’s fitting that it’s all happening around the four-year anniversary of Heitkamp’s contribution to help Barack Obama get elected in 2008:

That contribution is symbolic, I think, of what has plagued Heitkamp’s campaign since day one. Yesterday I spoke with a friend who saw Heitkamp speak to the Rotary Club here in Minot. He said her campaign pitch was almost indistinguishable from one a Republican might make. It is undeniable that Heitkamp has shifted way to the right since she started her Senate campaign, but unfortunately facts are stubborn things.

North Dakota voters, I think, recognize Heitkamp’s self-serving shift. The state’s liberals may be perfectly willing to let their candidate get away with it, knowing she’ll come back to the left once in office, but I’m not sure other voters in the state are buying it. What’s more important to them, I think, isn’t this character Heitkamp is portraying on the campaign trail but rather who Heitkamp was in the 12 years between when she was last on the ballot in 2000 and when she decided to jump into the Senate race.

During that time Heitkamp was a true-blue liberal, putting money down to elect Barack Obama and acting as an outspoken proponent for his policies in the state when she wasn’t busy being a sidekick on her very liberal brother’s talk radio show.

That’s what North Dakotans know about Heidi Heitkamp, and that’s what will cost her the election.

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.

Related posts

  • Jay

    Excellent assessment, Rob. The days when Dems could be the default party of congressional representation by talking conservative while being liberal are over. Obama ensured the demise of that era by compelling Conrad, Dorgan, and Pomeroy to overtly become his lackeys. It will be a long time before Dems in North Dakota recover from the Obama debacle. If only West Virginians were as perceptive as North Dakotans have become…

    • http://sayanythingblog.com Rob

      The days when Dems could be the default party of congressional representation by talking conservative while being liberal are over.

      Exactly. I was writing back around the time of Dorgan’s retirement that things had changed. The charade where Democrats acted conservatively in North Dakota while voting liberally in Washington DC is over, thanks mostly to the internet (and in small part to blogs like this one) which makes more information about who our politicians are and what they do available than ever before.

      • Wilbert Dunderfinch

        What a fabrication. To claim you provide information when in reality you provide right wing distortion there is a difference PBS provides information. Every story they do is not aimed at getting greed dogs elected. All day you bark for the greed dogs, to call that information is a tragedy for the dictionary.

        • http://sayanythingblog.com Rob

          You’re not even making sense any more.

          • zipity

            That’s not true…! He/she/it never has…

  • $8194357

    You mean she isn’t an independent voice for ND?
    Why would she say she was then?
    ND nice and all….

  • yy4u2

    It was interesting this campaign season how the Democrats other than Heidi used words like “independent” voice as well. How did Obama put it, “A pig is still a pig?”

  • Robert Portly

    North Dakota does not have to be a red neck state at the mercy of monied interest. Our state has a chance with election to vote out Berg and the rest of the greedy Republican rats. This is North Dakota’s chance to bring back the young who got fed up with the guns, gays, god, and abortion bunch. This is our chance to revitalize the state by showing that we are not all low information voters that can be manipulated by Fox, Rob, and Rush. With our fossil fuel wealth we have a chance to do something with it besides carve out tax breaks for the rich. We can improve our health care, our schools, and our quality of life. If only the low information voters will break away from the simple lies of the right.

    • InTheKnow

      This hours Socialist Minute from Joel brought to you by his twin brother Hidey Hightcamp.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Mary-Fetch/100002496156221 Mary Fetch

    Hmmm…………I thought only Rick Berg was rich. I haven’t got $1000 bucks to plop down on a campaign. But looks like $1000 comes pretty easy to Heidi.

  • The Fighting Czech

    Gotta give her credit, Its not a bad plan. Pretending to be conservative has worked for most of the Republicans over the years….