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 HeitkampHarrison seen as front-runner to take over DNC at crucial moment Biden to tap Vilsack for Agriculture secretary: reports OVERNIGHT ENERGY: EPA guidance may exempt some water polluters from Supreme Court permit mandate | Vilsack's stock rises with Team Biden | Arctic wildfires linked to warming temperatures: NOAA 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 CramerGroup of GOP senators seeks to block Biden moves on Paris, Keystone McConnell faces conservative backlash over Trump criticism McConnell keeps GOP guessing on Trump impeachment 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 TrumpMcCarthy says he told Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene he disagreed with her impeachment articles against Biden Biden, Trudeau agree to meet next month Trump planned to oust acting AG to overturn Georgia election results: report 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) ManchinOVERNIGHT ENERGY: Biden EPA asks Justice Dept. to pause defense of Trump-era rules | Company appeals rejection of Pebble Mine | Energy pick Granholm to get hearing Wednesday Nomination hearing for Biden Energy pick Granholm set for Wednesday Bipartisan Senate gang to talk with Biden aide on coronavirus relief 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.