You can add the National Review to the National Journal and the Washington Post on the list of publications that are treating liberal Senate candidate Heidi Heitkamp like a nearly irrelevant candidate.
NR’s Jim Geraghty puts North Dakota’s Senate race in the “Almost Resolved Already” category:
One should never count one’s chickens before they hatch, and all of the standard caveats apply. But Democrats had a thin bench when Byron Dorgan announced his retirement more than a year ago, and former North Dakota attorney general Heidi Heitkamp is their only candidate. At the end of 2011, she faced a 10-to-1 cash-on-hand gap with the likely Republican nominee, Representative Rick Berg. North Dakota has only one congressional district, and so Berg has already won statewide, beating incumbent Democrat Earl Pomeroy in a 2010 House race, 55 percent to 45 percent.
Geraghty doesn’t even get into Heitkamp’s glaring hypocrisy over Obamacare, and her obvious misleading of the public about her current position on the bill. That is going to be a thorn in the side throughout election cycle.
To be clear, Berg still needs to run a good campaign. The Democrats are going to dump a lot of money into keeping this seat, and campaign dollars go a long way in North Dakota. Any gaffe Berg could potentially make will be amplified by the Democrat campaign apparatus and a Democrat-friendly state media.
But all that being said, Heitkamp’s odds in North Dakota aren’t good.