Politico Projects Rick Berg As Winner In The ND Senate Race
In their final ratings of the Senate races, Politico picks Rick Berg as the winner over Heidi Heitkamp:
Like Scott Brown was for Republicans, Democrat Heidi Heitkamp might be the best losing candidate her party had to offer this year. Her ads were pitch perfect, her retail skills unmatched, her messaging fiercely disciplined. But also like the Massachusetts incumbent, Heitkamp is battling stiff presidential head winds in a state that overwhelmingly disapproves of the president’s signature piece of domestic legislation. Republican Rep. Rick Berg was far from the perfect candidate, but he’s picked up steam in recent weeks, putting Heitkamp on defense over her campaign contributions and forcing Democrats to take a much harsher tone on the airwaves.
The article projects Berg as the winner by about 4 points. I’m predicting that Berg wins by something more like 6-7 points, with an influx of new voters in western ND giving him a couple of extra percentage points over what the average of the polling says.
As for Heitkamp and her “pitch perfect” campaign, it all would have been great had we not had the pre-election Heidi Heitkamp to compare her to. Heitamp’s ads were funny. She is a very likable, gregarious candidate. But she’s also a very liberal Democrat who was basically campaigning like a conservative Republican.
That disconnect between campaign portrayal and reality is why Heitkamp never really had a shot in this race.
Think about it. This is a seat Democrats have held since Quentin Burdick took it in 1960. Democrats ran their strongest possible candidate (short of Kent Conrad himself running again), who ran a very creative and well-financed campaign against a, frankly, rather uninspiring Republican challenger.
And Heitkamp is going to lose. Why? Because she’s simply too liberal for most North Dakotans.
I’m sure Democrats will have a different explanation after election day, but that’s reality. After November 6th, Democrats will not hold a single statewide or federal office in North Dakota and it will be because they’ve simply moved too far left.Tags: election 2012, Heidi Heitkamp, North Dakota News, Rick Berg