Trump Visit Comes After Cramer’s Disastrous Month and as His Trade War Threatens North Dakota Farmers and the Economy


(BISMARCK, ND) — Kevin Cramer was desperate for a lifeline – after all, he’s had a disastrous month of headlines and missteps and his trade war is threatening the livelihood of North Dakota’s farmers and ranchers. That’s not to mention the open FEC complaint that was filed against Cramer yesterday for once again misusing campaign dollars to enrich himself and his family. Read more from the Forum and the Wall Street Journal below:

Forum: McFeely: Cramer hopes to get a needed jolt from Trump

  • From defending a peeping Tom as “a very good man” to saying that all chain-link fences are created equal, whether they are holding children like caged dogs or simply enclosing a playground, it’s been a rough past few weeks for Kevin Cramer.

  • When you defend putting children as young as 3 into cages after they’ve purposely been separated from their parents by the U.S. government because “chain-link fences are around playgrounds all over America, all over North Dakota,” it tends to make headlines.

  • When you pick a fight with the president’s legislative affairs director, suggest Trump gives Heitkamp preferential treatment “because she’s a, you know, a female,” insult the Koch Bros.-fueled Americans For Prosperity because the conservative advocacy group gave money to Heitkamp and generally whine that the president isn’t giving you enough love — as Cramer has done just in the past month — the political world is going to pay attention.

  • His has not exactly been an inspiring campaign thus far.

  • But in deeply conservative North Dakota, the fact that Heitkamp is hanging around is a story in itself. She is personally popular, liked by voters in both parties and has cast herself as a moderating voice in a crazy political atmosphere.

Wall Street Journal: Close North Dakota Senate Race Shadowed by Trump and Trade

  • The Senate race is shadowed by the growing threat of a trade war that could hurt North Dakota’s export-dependent farmers, and Ms. Heitkamp is working to align herself with them.

  • Soybeans are the state’s No. 1 export, generating about $1.1 billion in 2016, according to the latest figures from the U.S. Agriculture Department. China is the number one destination for those soybeans, according to the North Dakota Soybean Council.

  • Tom Campbell, a potato farmer who dropped his own Senate bid and is now a Cramer backer, warned that if the economic fallout of a trade war hits during fall harvest it could hurt Mr. Cramer.

  • Small-state intimacy could help Ms. Heitkamp’s efforts to draw ticket-splitting voters like John Dusek, an insurance agent who voted for Mr. Trump in 2016 but is inclined to support Ms. Heitkamp for reelection.

  • “She’s from a small town. She does what’s best for North Dakota. She’s a good person,” Mr. Dusek said while watching the Grafton parade.

  • Still, it may be risky to go too hard. Mr. Cramer acknowledges in one of his ads, “We all like Heidi.”