Heidi Heitkamp stood at the microphone at the Washington Press Club Dinner and said, “You’re asking yourself, ‘How did this middle-aged, red-headed Democrat win a United States Senate seat in a red state that the president lost by 21 points?’” Her question had all the charisma and wit that captures an audiences attention but behind this self effacing humor there is a kernel of truth. How did Heitkamp, a Democrat, manage to become the senator of North Dakota in a predominately republican state with a margin of one percent and approximately 3,000 votes? Running on a platform of balance and bipartisanship, Heitkamp looked to distance herself from the President and the Democratic Party while utilizing local issues to forge a connection with her fellow North Dakotans.


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