Like the unsinkable Molly Brown, Senator Heidi Heitkamp is declaring that she ain’t down yet. Heitkamp is a woman of integrity and courage and exactly the kind of person we need in the Senate. Even though the polls have shown her behind from anywhere from 4 to 12 points, she’s not giving up. She’s going to fight to the finish line in the only poll that matters — the ballot box. Good for her.

FiveThirtyEight: Can Heitkamp Pull Off A Second Upset In North Dakota?

Make no mistake, the polling so far is not great for Heitkamp, but this is a political candidate well acquainted with being an underdog. Heitkamp trailed her opponent in several polls in 2012, only to go on to win by less than 1 percentage point. It was one of the biggest election upsets that year. What’s more, her victory came even as Barack Obama lost the state to Mitt Romney by 20 points.

In 2012, Heitkamp’s strategy was to focus on local issues, like farming and energy, and avoid partisan politics. But that same strategy might not work as well this time around as she faces an increasingly nationalized landscape where more voters opt for the same party in every race. Furthermore, Heitkamp did not have a voting record to criticize in her first run. Now she does. Heitkamp has voted in line with Trump just 54 percent of the time, far less than we’d expect based on Trump’s margin of victory in her state. She voted against the Republican attempt to repeal the Affordable Care Act and against the GOP’s tax plan, opening her up to attacks from conservatives. But voting alongside Republicans may not have helped her re-election bid either. Her vote for the Keystone XL pipeline for example, could hurt her with Native American voters, who helped put her in office in 2012. And even if most Native American voters still support her, new voter ID requirements in the state are expected to depress turnout among tribe members in this election.

That’s both sides of the story and as you can see, this is a tough race to call, but I wish Heitkamp nothing but the best. She impressed me when she said that she looked at a video of Brett Kavanaugh’s melt down with the sound off and that that was a deciding factor in her no vote. I did the same thing, just for the hell of it, and it’s stunning. Someone who snarls and makes faces like a mad dog in front of the Senate is not somebody you want to vote for for SCOTUS, and she didn’t.

Heitkamp was willing to go to the mat and do what’s right and I sincerely hope that the people of North Dakota see the winner in her that I do. I’m hoping that the people who elected her in the first place are going to realize that she’s got the grit to not fold under pressure and that’s exactly the kind of leadership we so desperately need.

Here’s her Act Blue Donation Page.


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  1. Republicans are trying to undercut the critical Native American vote by requiring street addresses (not P.O. box #s) for every voter. Most tribal areas have no street addresses. This per MSNBC news.


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