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 BidenBiden campaign raised M more than Trump in the month of June RNC, Trump campaign raised 1M in June Michigan shuts down most indoor bar service in bid to prevent virus resurgence MORE will campaign in North Dakota alongside Sen. Heidi HeitkampMary (Heidi) Kathryn Heitkamp70 former senators propose bipartisan caucus for incumbents Susan Collins set to play pivotal role in impeachment drama Pro-trade group launches media buy as Trump and Democrats near deal on new NAFTA 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 skeptical of polling on Trump Senate passes sanctions bill targeting China over Hong Kong law Cruz urges Trump to support Israeli annexation MORE (R-N.D.) in a state that President TrumpDonald John TrumpHouse panel approves 0.5B defense policy bill House panel votes against curtailing Insurrection Act powers after heated debate House panel votes to constrain Afghan drawdown, ask for assessment on 'incentives' to attack US troops 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 KavanaughMcGrath fends off Booker to win Kentucky Senate primary Trump's mark on federal courts could last decades Supreme Court rules US requirements on overseas NGOs do not violate free speech 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.