2018 General Lost 55-44

It is not too early to begin thinking about the 2018 races for the US Senate.  This note is in support of Heidi Heitekamp of North Dakota.  We know that Democrats (including those who vote with them) have 48 seats in the Senate and need three additional seats to have a majority.  We also know that the numbers in 2018 are stacked against them.  Democrats have many more incumbents running than do the Republicans.  Even though there are some Republican seats that are or could become vulnerable, the first order of battle is defense.

Both Chuck Schumer and Patty Murray have identified three Senate candidates who are important to support.  They are all in the mid-west.  And there are some positive, early signs in the midwest.

Daily Kos has done a thoughtful analysis of recent special elections — noting that specials are not necessarily clues to what might happen in a general election  In a Minnesota House District special election, H32B, the Democrat, Laurie Wagner lost by a close 53-47.  This is a consistently Republican district which Trump won 61-32. 

The Minnesota race is one of five recent special elections that Daily Kos notes had better showing for Democratic candidates than the 2016 presidential results.  They wonder if there is a possibility that these candidates have benefited from a turn against Trump.

The strength of the Democratic candidates may be a positive sign for the Schumer and Murray “three” in 2018.  I am beginning with the candidate from the least populous state, the person for whom early money will mean the most. 

Heidi Heitkamp is the incumbent junior Senator from North Dakota.  She is completing her first term after winning the closest Senate race of 2012.  She has been an office holder for some time.  She has served as North Dakota’s Tax Commissioner and then Attorney General and has worked in the private sector. 

Heidi Heitkamp is not a liberal.  She has said she could support a kind of balanced budget amendment to the constitution, supported the Keystone XL Pipeline, and has opposed gun control proposals.  Nevertheless, she supports same sex marriage, a tax system that ensures that the wealthy pay their fair share, and fixing the Affordable Care Act.  She will vote for Chuck Schumer as leader of the Senate 

You can read more about Heidi Heitkamp on her campaign website:  http://heidifornorthdakota.com/  She is a valuable, blue collar Democrat.  Whatever you can do to help her helps Democrats around the country. It is particularly useful to make recurring, monthly donations even if they are small.  Those donations become funds that a candidate can count on.  Furthermore, in some ways, money in 2017 is more valuable that money in 2018.  2017 money helps a candidate start fast.