Poll: Democrat Heitkamp down 10 points to GOP challenger in ND Senate race

Poll: Democrat Heitkamp down 10 points to GOP challenger in ND Senate race
© Greg Nash

Sen. Heidi HeitkampMary (Heidi) Kathryn HeitkampPence to push new NAFTA deal in visit to Iowa Al Franken says he 'absolutely' regrets resigning Trump nominees meet fiercest opposition from Warren, Sanders, Gillibrand MORE (D-N.D.), who is considered one of the most vulnerable Senate Democrats this election season, trails her GOP challenger by 10 points, according to a new Gray TV poll

Fifty-one percent of likely voters polled said they are backing Rep. Kevin CramerKevin John CramerCastro, Steyer join pledge opposing the Keystone XL pipeline EPA proposes rolling back states' authority over pipeline projects GOP senator held up Trump aide's confirmation to get info on border wall contracts MORE (R-N.D.), while 41 percent said they support Heitkamp. Eight percent reported they are undecided.

The poll emerges as Heitkamp and other red-state Democrats struggle to navigate the controversy surrounding Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh's confirmation. Heitkamp is seeking to keep her seat in a state that went to President TrumpDonald John TrumpThe Hill's Campaign Report: Democratic field begins to shrink ahead of critical stretch To ward off recession, Trump should keep his mouth and smartphone shut Trump: 'Who is our bigger enemy,' Fed chief or Chinese leader? MORE by double-digits in 2016.

Sixty percent of North Dakota voters told pollsters they support Kavanaugh, who is facing sexual misconduct allegations from multiple women. Twenty-seven percent said they oppose him.

The poll was conducted after the allegations came out against Kavanaugh, but before he testified in front of the Senate Judiciary Committee last week.

Twenty-one percent of voters in North Dakota said Kavanaugh is the most important issue in the country right now, while 13 percent said health care and 12 percent said immigration. 

Heitkamp has previously called for Kavanaugh's confirmation process to be slowed down in light of the allegations from Christine Blasey Ford and Deborah Ramirez, who have accused Kavanaugh of drunken sexual misconduct in the 1980s. A third woman has also accused Kavanaugh of misconduct. He has denied all the allegations.

Heitkamp and one of the other vulnerable red-state Democrats, Sen. Joe ManchinJoseph (Joe) ManchinTrump awards Medal of Freedom to NBA legend Bob Cousy Overnight Energy: Green groups sue Trump over Endangered Species Act changes | Bureau of Land Management retirees fight plan to relocate agency | Wildfires in Amazon rainforest burn at record rate Bureau of Land Management retirees fight plan to relocate agency out west MORE (D-W.Va.), both remain undecided on Kavanaugh. 

The North Dakota senator last week suggested at a campaign event that the president could pick another nominee for the high court.

The poll was conducted by Strategic Research Associates between Sept. 17-27 and surveyed 650 likely voters were surveyed. The margin of error is 3.8 percentage points.