Republican Rep. Kevin Cramer will win his bid to be the next senator from North Dakota, CNN can project, ousting incumbent Democrat Heidi Heitkamp and dealing a significant blow to Democrats' prospect at taking control of the Senate.
Heitkamp, in the closing months of the campaign, was widely considered the most vulnerable Democratic incumbent in the Senate, given Trump won North Dakota by 36 percentage points. That position was cemented when, weeks before Election Day, her campaign mistakenly identified sexual assault survivors in an ad, forcing the Democrats to emotionally apologize and promise to make up for the mistake.
Government and public administration
Government organizations - US
Political Figures - US
Heitkamp, in a move many Democrats applauded by questioned as political risky, decided to vote against Brett Kavanaugh, Trump's nominee to the Supreme Court who was confirmed despite being accused of sexual assault, which he denied. The Kavanaugh hearings became a contentious matter in the race, with Heitkamp arguing that she had to vote against the nominee to be able to look at herself in the mirror at night.
The vote, however, was a boon for Heitkamp's fundraising. In the roughly two weeks after her vote against Kavanaugh, Heitkamp raised just over $12.5 million, money that was funneled directly into her the millions worth of ads her campaign ran in the final months.
Cramer ran towards Trump throughout the race, looking to tap into the same base of voters that propelled him to the White House in 2016. Cramer accused Heitkamp of being out of step with North Dakota voters, slamming some of her votes on abortion and against the Republican tax plan.
- Heidi Heitkamp ousted from Senate by Republican Kevin Cramer, CNN projects
- CNN projection: Cramer defeats Heitkamp
- Trust the polls: Heidi Heitkamp is in trouble
- Heidi Heitkamp is fighting for her political life in North Dakota
- Heidi Heitkamp apologizes for ad that mistakenly identified women as abuse survivors
- Heidi Heitkamp's campaign mistakenly named them as abuse survivors. Now they want answers.
- Heidi Heitkamp raises eye-popping $12.5 million after Kavanaugh 'no' vote
- URGENT - Republicans have retained control of the Senate, CNN projects
- Republicans keep control of Senate in 2018 midterms, CNN projects
- GOP Senate nominees Kevin Cramer, Corey Stewart sought support of extreme anti-gay group