- The Washington Times - Wednesday, February 28, 2018

North Dakota’s Democratic Sen. Heidi Heitkamp is holding on to a slight edge over the state’s GOP Rep. Kevin Cramer, who launched his campaign earlier this month.

A Gravis Marketing online poll published Tuesday shows Ms. Heitkamp, the incumbent, leading Mr. Cramer 43 to 40, well within the five-point margin of error, according to KFYR-TV, a Fox News affiliate in Bismarck.

The poll questioned 385 people, and 17 percent said they were undecided.

“I think North Dakota is a key state if the Democrats are going to win the Senate this year they have to win North Dakota. It’s a state that many think that the Republicans will pick up based on how Trump formed in North Dakota,” said Doug Kaplan, president of Gravis Marketing.

This is the first poll for the much-watched Senate race since Mr. Cramer launched his campaign 10 days ago.

Ms. Heitkamp is one of several Democrats trying to hold onto their seats in red states. Donald Trump beat Hillary Clinton by 36 percentage points in North Dakota in the 2016 presidential election.

And President Trump’s popularity in the state may end up giving Mr. Cramer an edge, especially since he’s been a Trump ally and supported much of the president’s agenda in Congress.

Republicans are looking to expand their 51-seat majority in the Senate, and Mr. Cramer has a real chance of defeating Ms. Heitkamp, who is the only Democrat holding a statewide seat in North Dakota.

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