With the Democrats having to defend 26 of the 34 U.S. Senate seats up for election this year, they can ill afford any of them to flip Republican. That in and of itself is a challenge given there are vulnerable Dem incumbents in such states as North Dakota, Missouri, Indiana, Montana and West Virginia, all of which Donald Trump won overwhelmingly in 2016.
And of all the states I just mentioned, North Dakota has (at this point anyways) the best chance to turn GOP this year. I say that because, if last week is any indication, current senator Heidi Heitkamp can't seem to stay out of her own way.
Just over a week ago, Senate Dems voted to block a bill which would ban abortions past 20 weeks. Per blogger Rob Port, the majority of his fellow North Dakotans support such a measure. However, Sen. Heitkamp was one of 46 Senators to block this bill from receiving an up or down vote. After her vote was announced, Heitkamp could be seen "high fiving"Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer.
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The next evening would be President Trump's first State of the Union address. Sen. Heitkamp's guest for the event was former UPS driver Dennis Kooren whom Heitkamp cited as "a leader of the effort to protect the pensions of North Dakota workers and retirees."
Literally the next day, Port wrote at his Say Anything blog a blurb about UPS.
Today Mr. Kooren’s former employer announced $12 billion in new investments including a $5 billion contribution to the company’s three employee pension plans, an amount that works out to about $13,000 per employee.
The reason UPS is making this investment?
The tax reform bill.
You know, the one Senator Heitkamp voted against.
Yes, I know. Election Day is still nine months away and a lot can happen in that time frame. I just hope a ruby red state like North Dakota can put forth merely a competent Republican. As we've seen recently, the bar isn't all that high for a flip here.