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February 13, 2016

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June 13, 2012

North Dakota: Kevin Cramer Upsets Party-Backed Candidate

Public Service Commissioner Kevin Cramer upset the North Dakota Republican Party-backed candidate for at-large Representative on Tuesday night. With 84 percent of precincts reporting, Cramer had 53 percent to Brian Kalk’s 46 percent.

Cramer is running for the House seat vacated by freshman Rep. Rick Berg (R), who easily won his Senate primary Tuesday against businessman Duane Sand (R).

Earlier this year, North Dakota Republicans picked Kalk, also a public service commissioner, as their endorsed candidate in the GOP primary. A former state party chairman, Cramer ran outside the party endorsement system, giving the GOP’s chosen candidate a significant challenge for the first time in recent history.

National conservative groups such as the Club for Growth and FreedomWorks boosted Cramer with independent expenditures on his behalf.

This November, Cramer faces the newly minted Democratic nominee, former state Rep. Pam Gulleson. Roll Call rates this seat as Likely Republican.

Berg faces former state Attorney General Heidi Heitkamp in November. Roll Call rates the North Dakota Senate race as Leans Republican.

June 7, 2012

North Dakota: Senate Poll Shows Dead Heat

A new independent poll shows freshman Rep. Rick Berg (R) and former Attorney General Heidi Heitkamp (D) in a virtual tie for the open North Dakota Senate seat.

Heitkamp leads Berg, 47 percent to 46 percent, according to a survey conducted by the Mason-Dixon Polling and Research for KVLY and KFYR television stations. Just 7 percent of voters were undecided in the poll.

The survey comes as good news to Democrats, who hope to keep the seat of retiring Sen. Kent Conrad seat as part of their larger effort to maintain control of the Senate. The results are yet another sign that the race is competitive, although Roll Call continues to rate it as Leans Republican. Full story

June 1, 2012

North Dakota: Report Shows Heidi Heitkamp Spending Cash

Former North Dakota Attorney General Heidi Heitkamp (D) spent more cash than she raised in the last several weeks, according to her most recent fundraising report.

Heitkamp raised $497,100 and spent $581,700 in the official pre-primary period from April 1 through May 23. Her spokesman, Brandon Lorenz, attributed the heavy campaign spending to recent television buys but declined to divulge the exact size of the campaign’s advertisement buys.

The Democrat’s likely opponent this fall, Rep. Rick Berg (R), raised $443,300 and spent $389,200 during the same period.

Full story

May 21, 2012

Study: Democrats Must Win Moderates to Hold Senate

In a study that could annoy Democrats and perturb proponents of the “base election” theory, a centrist Democratic think tank is arguing that its party’s hold on the Senate hinges on political “moderates.”

Third Way, in a report set for release today, asserts not only that ideological moderates will determine control of the Senate in November, but that Democrats need to win more of these voters in 10 states with tossup Senate contests than do the Republicans. The think tank crunched exit polling data from recent presidential and midterm elections and concluded that Democrats face a significant challenge in their bid to retain their thin, four-seat Senate majority.

“Crucially for Democrats, they must garner a majority of moderates in nine of 10 toss-ups to win, and in seven of those the bar is even higher — Democrats must clear 60 percent [of moderates] to win,” Third Way policy advisers Michelle Diggles and Lanae Erickson write in the think tank’s report.

Third Way classifies 10 Senate races as Tossup; Roll Call currently rates eight races as Tossup.

Full story

May 8, 2012

DSCC Reserves Airtime in Three Key States

In its first television advertising reservation for the fall, the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee reserved $14.1 million in Missouri, Montana and Virginia — three states Democrats are looking to hold as they seek to preserve their four-seat Senate majority.

As the Hotline first reported, the DSCC reserved $7.4 million in Virginia, $3.5 million in Missouri and $3.2 million in Montana. The Virginia and Missouri reservations are for Oct. 9 to Nov. 5, and the Montana reservation is from Aug. 28 to Nov. 5, Roll Call confirmed with a Democratic source. Full story

April 27, 2012

DSCC Places First IE of ’12 Cycle in North Dakota

The Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee has bought television air time in North Dakota to bolster former state Attorney General Heidi Heitkamp, a Democratic source confirmed this afternoon.

The DSCC has placed a buy worth about $76,000 that was set to run beginning Wednesday of this week through next Friday.

The DSCC’s spot becomes the first independent expenditure spot of the campaign from a national party committee and was placed specifically to answer an ad being run by Crossroads GPS, a Republican-aligned nonprofit affiliated with the American Crossroads super PAC.

Democrats have high hopes for Heitkamp, although Rep. Rick Berg (R) remains favored in the contest to succeed retiring Sen. Kent Conrad (D). Roll Call rates this contest as Leans Republican. However, a poll conducted for the North Dakota Democratic party had Heitkamp up 5 points over Berg.

Full story

April 11, 2012

NRSC Places $25 Million Ad Reservation for Fall Campaign

National Republican Senatorial Committee Chairman John Cornyn is trying to win back the majority this fall. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

The Senate GOP’s campaign arm reserved approximately $25 million in airtime today in six targeted Senate races — an early and aggressive move for a party looking to regain the majority.

The broadcast, cable and radio buy comes several months before the campaign committees’ independent expenditure arms typically start to reserve air time for the post-Labor Day campaign advertisement blitz.

“This is our first buy, not our last. But this foundation does ensure we will be heard through various channels as the electorate decides who they are going to vote for,” a National Republican Senatorial Committee official told Roll Call. Full story

April 2, 2012

North Dakota: Republicans Endorse Brian Kalk for Open House Seat

Republicans rallied behind Public Service Commissioner Brian Kalk at their annual convention over the weekend, giving him their endorsement in the race for the open, at-large House seat.

After three rounds of ballots, Kalk obtained more than a majority of delegates — 929 votes — to win his party’s official support over a crowded field.

Republican hopefuls traditionally abide by the GOP convention’s endorsement. This weekend, almost every other GOP House contender dropped out of the race prior to Kalk’s acceptance speech, including state Rep. Bette Grande, state Rep. Kim Koppelman, former Commerce Commissioner Shane Goettle and businessman DuWayne Hendrickson. Full story

March 1, 2012

Morning Roundup: Senate Race Ratings Changes

This might just be the Best. Week. Ever. for Senate Democrats. At least so far this cycle.

Analysts originally believed Democrats would have a very hard time holding on to their three-seat Senate majority in 2012. After all, the math was against Democrats this cycle: 10 GOP-held seats are up in November, compared with 23 Democratic-held seats — many in Republican states.

While the GOP could still net the four seats they need to win an outright majority, the road to 51 certainly got tougher this week, write Kyle Trygstad and David M. Drucker on the front page of today’s Roll Call.

Full story

January 31, 2012

FEC Nightcap: More Winners, Losers and Noteworthy Reports

While you munched on dinner and the Florida primary wrapped up, Roll Call’s politics team continued to sort through year-end fundraising reports that are due by midnight to the Federal Election Commission. Here are our picks for winners, losers and noteworthy filings this evening:


  • CA-30: Rep. Howard Berman (D) crossed the seven-figure mark in the fourth quarter for his bid against Rep. Brad Sherman (D). Berman raised just over $1 million in the last three months of 2011 and now has $2.9 million in the bank. Sherman’s report had not been filed as of late this evening, but he reported $3.7 million in the bank at the end of September. (via @shiratoeplitz) Full story

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