The Hill’s 50 races to watch


North Dakota Senate

Heidi HeitkampHeidi HeitkampOvernight Healthcare: Four GOP senators threaten to block 'skinny' repeal | Healthcare groups blast skinny repeal | GOP single-payer amendment fails in Senate GOP single-payer amendment fails in Senate Regulatory experts push Senate leaders for regulatory reform MORE (D) vs Rick Berg (R)

Democrats hope to retain this seat with candidate Heidi Heitkamp, who has posted a strong showing against Rep. Rick Berg (R-N.D.) despite President Obama’s double-digit deficit in the state. 

The former state attorney general has remained within striking distance of Berg in every poll, and posted a slight lead on the Republican in the last survey. 

Heitkamp has worked to tie Berg to congressional inaction on the farm bill, despite Berg’s outspoken opposition to House leadership’s stall, while Berg has framed Heitkamp as a staunch supporter of Obama and his policies. 

But small, personal issues could sway the race: Berg’s connection to a family of real estate companies, one of which mismanaged properties, has come under scrutiny, and Heitkamp has been targeted by Republicans for taking funds from what they say is an anti-fracking law firm, despite her avowed support for the drilling technique.

National Democratic and Republican groups have each poured more than $1 million into the race.

The Hill rates this race a toss-up.