Soybeans, tariffs an issue at end of N.D. Senate race
November 5, 2018
BISMARCK, N.D. — President Donald Trump's tariffs on foreign steel and aluminum and the resulting tariffs that China has imposed on U.S. soybeans remain an issue in the final days of the race between Sen. Heidi Heitkamp, D-N.D., and Rep. Kevin Cramer, R-N.D., one of the tightest in the country.
In an ad against Rep. Kevin Cramer, D-N.D., the Senate Majority PAC, a Democratic group working to win Senate races, superimposed a photo of Cramer on top of a pile of soybeans.
Cramer has defended Trump's trade policy, and Heitkamp and others have criticized him for not being more sensitive to issues of concern to North Dakota farmers.
Republicans, meanwhile, continued to hit Heitkamp on social issues and said the $13.2 million in contributions her campaign received after she voted against Brett Kavanaugh for the Supreme Court proved that she is "bought and paid for by the liberal left."
Polls in October showed Cramer ahead, but there have been no recent polls and Democrats say their internal polls show the race to be close.
Voter turnout and suppression have also become major issues in the state.
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Following a Supreme Court ruling that upheld a North Dakota law requiring proof of a street address for voting, many Native Americans and Democrats have charged that the Republicans want to suppress the Native American vote by requiring street addresses.
Tribal governments are working on providing voters who use post office boxes with street addresses, while nonprofit groups are working on getting out the Native American vote.
The North Dakota Democratic Party also advertised that people who vote in North Dakota may endanger their out-of-state hunting licenses. The Republicans and fact-checkers have said that is not true, but Heitkamp has explained that the ads are referring to hunting licenses based on in-state or out-of-state residence, which are treated differently in some cases. Facebook removed the ad, The Bismarck Tribune reported.
Tensions over the race are so high that at gatherings of family and friends here last weekend, people avoided the subject of the election, even though it was only a few days away.