The precarious balancing act Senator Heidi Heitkamp has to pull off is appealing to North Dakota’s mostly Republican, mostly pro-Trump voters without alienating her left wing base.
In recent weeks Heitkamp and her media allies have been promoting the idea that President Trump likes the Democratic incumbent more than her Republican challenger Kevin Cramer.
I can’t imagine that sat well with liberal voters in the state, so now that Trump has commented on the Senate race and thrown a bit of a monkey wrench into that narrative the ever nimble Heitkamp and her campaign have shifted gears promoting an assault on Cramer’s social views.
[mks_pullquote align=”left” width=”300″ size=”24″ bg_color=”#ffffff” txt_color=”#000000″]It came in a story yesterday from CNN which claimed Cramer “sought” the support of a virulent anti-gay group. That’s a big of an exaggeration. As I confirmed with the Cramer campaign, the candidate didn’t seek anything from this group.[/mks_pullquote]
It came in a story yesterday from CNN which claimed Cramer “sought” the support of a virulent anti-gay group.
That’s a big of an exaggeration. As I confirmed with the Cramer campaign, the candidate didn’t seek anything from this group. They sent him a list of questions to answer about his views on issues like gay marriage. He answered them. He never asked them for donations or support.
That Cramer has socially conservative views when it comes to gay and transgendered issues is hardly a surprise. He’s had these same views for the entirety of his decades-long public life. It’s up to Cramer to explain those views to voters. I’d even go so far as to say that it was unwise for Cramer to even respond to this group. But to say that he “sought” their support as many in the media and Heitkamp’s campaign circles are is simply inaccurate.
But that aside, what’s the larger motivation here? Because, again, Cramer’s views in this policy area aren’t news.
I think this is about Heitkamp throwing her left wing base a bone. This is a wink to her left wing base telling them that this big, election year shift to the right she’s making is just a feint. Something to fool the red state rubes so that she can begin another six year term in which she votes a lot further to the left than she’s campaigned.
As an appreciator of the political arts one really has to admire the deftness with which Heitkamp pulls this off.
That’s it’s all baloney, though, is assured.