Poll: Democrat Heitkamp down 10 points to GOP challenger in ND Senate race

Sen. Heidi HeitkampMary (Heidi) Kathryn Heitkamp70 former senators propose bipartisan caucus for incumbents Susan Collins set to play pivotal role in impeachment drama Pro-trade group launches media buy as Trump and Democrats near deal on new NAFTA MORE (D-N.D.), who is considered one of the most vulnerable Senate Democrats this election season, trails her GOP challenger by 10 points, according to a new Gray TV poll. 

Fifty-one percent of likely voters polled said they are backing Rep. Kevin CramerKevin John CramerRepublicans prepare to punt on next COVID-19 relief bill GOP senators introduce resolution opposing calls to defund the police Trump tweets spark fresh headache for Republicans MORE (R-N.D.), while 41 percent said they support Heitkamp. Eight percent reported they are undecided.

ADVERTISEMENTThe poll emerges as Heitkamp and other red-state Democrats struggle to navigate the controversy surrounding Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh’s confirmation. Heitkamp is seeking to keep her seat in a state that went to President TrumpDonald John TrumpSenate advances public lands bill in late-night vote Warren, Democrats urge Trump to back down from veto threat over changing Confederate-named bases Esper orders ‘After Action Review’ of National Guard’s role in protests MORE by double-digits in 2016.

Sixty percent of North Dakota voters told pollsters they support Kavanaugh, who is facing sexual misconduct allegations from multiple women. Twenty-seven percent said they oppose him.

The poll was conducted after the allegations came out against Kavanaugh, but before he testified in front of the Senate Judiciary Committee last week.

Twenty-one percent of voters in North Dakota said Kavanaugh is the most important issue in the country right now, while 13 percent said health care and 12 percent said immigration. 

Heitkamp has previously called for Kavanaugh’s confirmation process to be slowed down in light of the allegations from Christine Blasey Ford and Deborah Ramirez, who have accused Kavanaugh of drunken sexual misconduct in the 1980s. A third woman has also accused Kavanaugh of misconduct. He has denied all the allegations.

Heitkamp and one of the other vulnerable red-state Democrats, Sen. Joe ManchinJoseph (Joe) ManchinTrump administration seeks to use global aid for nuclear projects Shelley Moore Capito wins Senate primary West Virginia Gov. Jim Justice wins GOP gubernatorial primary MORE (D-W.Va.), both remain undecided on Kavanaugh. 

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The North Dakota senator last week suggested at a campaign event that the president could pick another nominee for the high court.

The poll was conducted by Strategic Research Associates between Sept. 17-27 and surveyed 650 likely voters were surveyed. The margin of error is 3.8 percentage points. 

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