With 34 days left until the election, the most vulnerable Senator in the country just had one of the worst 24 hour periods of her campaign.
To start, the North Dakota Republican Party yesterday released what could be “the most consequential” ad of the cycle, hitting Heitkamp for her failure to support law enforcement during the Dakota Access Pipeline protests:
The coverage was as bad as Heitkamp could expect:
- NBC News: The ad … says Heitkamp ‘did nothing’ to defend law enforcement or protect property rights during Dakota Access Pipeline protests in the state in 2016.
- House Majority Leader Al Carlson: My communications when we had any were always with Sen. Hoeven. I did not have any discussion or did their [Heitkamp] office ever reach out … Sen. Hoeven to his credit stepped forward and he was in constant communication with us. We received basically no communication, at least I did not, from the other side of the aisle.
- Buzzfeed: New ad from the North Dakota Republican Party hits Heitkamp over DAPL
- Forum Commentator Rob Port: Make no doubt about it, this is a damaging ad for Heitkamp. No North Dakotan who was living in the state during the protests will believe that Heitkamp behaved like a leader.
- Breitbart News: The state party pointed to a congressional race fundraiser Heitkamp once held for pipeline protest leader Chase Iron Eyes at her D.C. home.
- NTK Network: New Ad Hits Heitkamp For Not Protecting Law Enforcement During Pipeline Protest
And the Heitkamp campaign had no credible response. But the day didn’t end there.
Kris Cramer penned an op-ed hitting back on Heidi Heitkamp’s recent anti-women attack ad. Some highlights:
- I gave up my career and began working on Kevin’s campaigns in a professional capacity as campaign manager. Recently, Senator Heitkamp’s campaign hit a shameful new low with the release of a television ad specifically targeting me and the fact that I get paid for my work on Kevin’s campaign.
- Clearly, Senator Heitkamp is only supportive of women when it suits her political objectives. Should I not have worked in that role just because I’m Kevin Cramer’s wife? Worse yet, should I have not been paid for my work just because I am his wife? I’m disappointed to think that Sen. Heitkamp would diminish a woman’s role like this and insinuate that it is somehow wrong for a woman, any woman, to be compensated for her work.
- As typical of the ads we’ve seen coming from her campaign, Sen. Heitkamp also went to great lengths to sensationalize her attack by making the amount I was paid seem like a giant one-time payment rather than monthly compensation over several years.
- I firmly believe this escalation in negative rhetoric, demonizing a working professional who just happens to be a woman and drawing our family into the political fray is a shameful development. The people of our state don’t deserve it and my family doesn’t deserve it. We must demand better from Senator Heitkamp.
Heidi Heitkamp’s response to Kris Cramer calling her out for her anti-woman attack was to … double down on her anti-woman attack, accusing Kevin of using his wife as a “political shield.”
LET’S BE CLEAR— this is more politics at its worst from the alleged “bipartisan warrior,” and her desperation is likely caused by two brand new polls that paint a daunting path forward for Heitkamp.
NBC North Dakota released a new poll showing Heidi Heitkamp down 10 points to Kevin Cramer, who is over 50 percent and now holds his largest public polling lead of the cycle. What’s worse for her, support for Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh is at 60%, even though Heitkamp has clearly indicated a desire to side with Chuck Schumer and oppose his confirmation:
National Journal’s Politics Editor:
Bloomberg Politics’ Greg Sullivan:
North Dakota’s CBS Affiliate:
What a week, huh? Sadly for Heidi Heitkamp, that was only Tuesday.
And with her record of support dangerous sanctuary cities, failure to protect law enforcement from radical out-of-state protestors, and opposition to tax cuts for middle-class North Dakotans, Wednesday isn’t likely to get any better.