Monday, March 19, 2018

North Dakota-- One Of The Least Likely States To Flip Blue... But Not Totally Impossible


In 2016 North Dakota was one of Trump's strongest states. He beat Hillary 216,794 (62.96%) to 93,758 (27.23%). Libertarian Gary Johnson took 21,434 votes (6.22%). Only West Virginia, Wyoming and Oklahoma were redder. And only New Mexico, where he had once served as governor, gave Johnson a bigger share of its votes than North Dakota. Clinton won just two of North Dakota's 53 counties counties, Sioux and Rolette. 73% of Rolette County and 85% of Sioux County are populated by Native Americans, in fact, all of Sioux County is encompassed by the Standing Rock Indian Reservation. The last time North Dakota gave its 3 electoral votes to a Democrat was in 1964, when LBJ beat Goldwater. The state's PVI is R+17, the 5th worst in the country. In North Dakota's caucuses Bernie crushed Hillary 64.2% to 25.6%.

This year, the race that everyone is watching in North Dakota is the Senate race, where the Senate's most conservative Democrat, Heidi Heitkamp will be defending her seat from Republican Kevin Cramer, who is leaving his safe Senate seat to challenge her. The most recent poll (late February), by Republican firm Gravis Marketing, shows a dead-heat, Heitkamp leading 43-40% with 17% undecided. But what about the at-large House race to replace Cramer?

The primary is June 12, but the state party had its convention on Saturday. The main events were to endorse candidates for attorney general and agriculture commissioner. Convention endorsements are important because they come with a guaranteed spot on the June 12 primary ballot and party support that includes access to lists of previous Democratic campaign donors. Endorsements don't protect a candidate from a primary challenge, but they are rare within the Democratic party. And, indeed the 3 Democrats running for Congress had all agreed to withdraw for the endorsed candidate. The candidates were Jamestown state Sen. John Grabinger (assistant minority leader) and former state lawmakers Ben Hanson of Fargo and Mac Schneider of Grand Forks. Schneider won after having just entered the race a couple of weeks ago. He's well-known to state Democrats because he had represented Grand Forks from 2009 until his defeat for re-election in 2016.

The last Democrat North Dakota sent to the House was Earl Pomeroy, a Blue Dog. Schneider used to work for him as a press secretary. Is he a Blue Dog too? Well, when he announced his interest in running, he said he would be "honored to work with President Trump." So I'll guess yes. By the way, Biden was there looking for support for his presidential run from the same kind of establishment Democrats who backed Hillary but saw grassroots voted go overwhelmingly for Bernie. The North Dakota Democratic Party hasn't figured that out yet.

The Republican field includes former GOP Chairman Kelly Armstrong, a state senator from Dickinson, and Tom Campbell, a potato farmer and state senator from Grafton, who has already self-funded $745,000 into his campaign.

UPDATE: And About Tomorrow In Illinois

The above fun and catchy music video highlights some of the stakes, in tomorrow’s Illinois primaries, for #Medicare4All and many other issues, and the role of an unsung villain in whipping for the wants of big money rather than the needs of the American people.

In majority-Democratic IL-03, Nancy Pelosi recently stumbled in allowing public visibility of her support for Dan Lipinski, the anti-ACA, anti-reproductive rights, anti-LGBTQ, anti-DREAMer, anti-#FightFor15, anti-gun control incumbent (originally installed by the local machine through a sneaky late resignation by Lipinski’s father). This money-over-principles support suddenly looks lonely after many other incumbent Democrats took the rare step of endorsing a primary challenger: Marie Newman.

More typical is Illinois’ purple IL-13, where Pelosi has personally avoided visibility while her appointed leadership of the DCCC continues its vendetta, against a longtime leader of the single-payer movement, Dr. David Gill, for continuing to demonstrate that he is a much stronger candidate, than the DCCC’s series of under-performing, donor-focused puppet-candidates, against the vulnerable Republican incumbent.

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At 6:24 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Waiting for a follow-up rationalizing the Lipinski win.


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