Heidi Heitkamp (D), a Senator locked in a tough reelection campaign in a state that President Donald Trump (R) won easily two years ago, has defied the President and the sentiment in much of her state by voting “no” on the confirmation of the Hon. Brett Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court of the United States.
Heitkamp is running against Rep. Kevin Cramer (R), a former chair of the state’s Republican Party and former Economic Development Director.
Recent polls, completed before this vote, gave Cramer a 52/48 lead over Heitkamp. Given the conservative mood in the state [it not only voted for Trump in 2016, it voted for Romney in 2012] , the Kavanaugh vote will likely harm rather than help Heitkamp’s efforts to close that gap.
Still: optimists in the Democratic camp point out that Heitkamp won her Senate seat in 2012 despite polls that showed her trailing the Republican candidate that year, too.
The Thing to Know:
“This isn’t a political decision,” Heitkamp said about her Kavanaugh vote. “I can’t get up in the morning and look at the experience I’ve had and say ‘yes.'”