Biden to campaign for Heitkamp days before North Dakota election

Biden to campaign for Heitkamp days before North Dakota election
© Greg Nash

Former Vice President Joe BidenJoe BidenTrump to hold campaign rally in Michigan Castro hits fundraising threshold for December debate Buttigieg draws fresh scrutiny, attacks in sprint to Iowa MORE will campaign in North Dakota alongside Sen. Heidi HeitkampMary (Heidi) Kathryn HeitkampThe Hill's Morning Report — Biden steadies in third debate as top tier remains the same Trump wins 60 percent approval in rural areas of key states Pence to push new NAFTA deal in visit to Iowa MORE (D) on Nov. 1, as the senator fights to hang on to her seat in a deep-red state.

Biden will kick off the “Bring it Home, Heidi!” five-day statewide tour in Fargo next Thursday in the final days of the midterm elections.

His visit comes as the race has been trending more toward Republicans, which improves GOP chances of hanging onto their slim 51-49 seat majority.

Heitkamp faces a tough reelection race against Rep. Kevin CramerKevin John CramerGOP senator blocks Armenian genocide resolution Trump's legal team huddles with Senate Republicans Schumer briefs Democrats on impeachment trial 'mechanics' MORE (R-N.D.) in a state that President TrumpDonald John TrumpTrumps light 97th annual National Christmas Tree Trump to hold campaign rally in Michigan 'Don't mess with Mama': Pelosi's daughter tweets support following press conference comments MORE won by nearly 36 points in 2016. Recent public polls show Heitkamp trailing Cramer by double-digit margins.

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“As North Dakota’s senator, Heidi’s never forgotten where she comes from – she’s a tireless voice for rural America and a dogged advocate for North Dakota,” Biden said in a statement on Friday.

“Heidi is the real deal – she stands up to both parties to do what’s right by the people she serves, and I hope you’ll help get out the vote and send her back to be North Dakota’s independent voice in the U.S. Senate.”

Heitkamp and Cramer will square off in their final Senate debate Friday night. In last week’s debate, they tussled over Trump’s trade war, campaign ads and the contentious Supreme Court confirmation of Brett KavanaughBrett Michael KavanaughHouse, Senate Democrats call on Supreme Court to block Louisiana abortion law Justices appear cautious of expanding gun rights in NY case Thanks to President Trump, major tests loom for Chief Justice Roberts MORE.

Republicans pointed to a spike in enthusiasm among its base following Kavanaugh’s confirmation. Cramer has repeatedly blasted Heitkamp for opposing his nomination, which was nearly derailed by an allegation of sexual assault from when he was in high school.

Kavanaugh has strongly denied the accusations. 

But Heitkamp saw a jolt in fundraising — particularly among small-dollar donations — following her decision to not back Kavanaugh. She reported raising more than $12 million in the first two weeks of October, a staggering figure that’ll help her compete in the remaining days.

Biden, who’s considered a potential 2020 presidential contender, has been traversing the country to stump for Democratic candidates and leverage his ties to working-class Americans.