Kevin Cramer Defeats Heitkamp in North Dakota

Sen. Heidi Heitkamp / Getty Images
November 6, 2018

Sen. Heidi Heitkamp (D., N.D.) on Tuesday night was defeated by her Republican opponent Rep. Kevin Cramer after trailing in the polls by as much as 16 points in recent weeks.

Heitkamp, who has been serving in the senate since January 2013, was projected to lose by multiple outlets with only about half of precincts reporting. She received backlash over the last few weeks for voting against President Donald Trump's Supreme Court justice nominee Brett Kavanaugh and outing sexual assault victims in a campaign newspaper ad.

While Heitkamp voted for Trump's first Supreme Court nominee Neil Gorsuch last year, she decided early last month that she would oppose Kavanaugh.

"The process has been bad, but at the end of the day, you have to make a decision, and I've made that decision," she said. "I will be voting no on Judge Kavanaugh."

In mid-October, Heitkamp was forced to apologize after her campaign publicly disclosed the names of women identified as "survivors of domestic violence, sexual assault, or rape," saying she was in the process of "personally apologizing to each of the people impacted" by her newspaper advertisement in the Bismarck Tribune.

"Sexual assault is a serious crime – and one that too many North Dakota women have experienced," Heitkamp said. "In an attempt to bring awareness to this issue and push back against dismissive comments toward sexual assault survivors by Kevin Cramer, our campaign worked with victim advocates to identify women who would be willing sign the letter or share their story."

Heitkamp has repeatedly touted her voting record, talking about her willingness to reach across the aisle and work with Trump on various issues. While Trump called her a "good woman" last year optimistically hoping she would support the Republican tax reform plan and caused Republicans to be worried that he was cozy with Heitkamp, but he ultimately supported Cramer in the end saying that he would be a "great senator."