Despite Republican dominance in Presidential elections in North Dakota (which hasn't voted Democratic since 1964) as well as state and local elections, Democrats have since the late 1980s achieved several consecutive victories in Congressional elections in the state. Democrats have held the state's at-large House seat since 1981 when Incumbent Republican Representative Mark Andrews retired from the House of Representatives to run for and subsequently win election to the Senate in 1980. Following the 1986 Congressional elections, Democrats gained North Dakota's Class III U.S. Senate seat in addition to having already held the state's other Senate seat, thus giving Democrats control of both its U.S. Senate seats for the first time in North Dakota's history. From 1987 to date, North Dakota has had a completely Democratic Congressional delegation.
Since first being elected in 1992, incumbent Democrat Earl Pomeroy has won reelection, sometimes with difficulty, but usually by comfortable margins. However with Democrats fighting in a much tougher political environment in 2010, Republicans plan on putting forward a serious challenge. Republicans running against him include state Public Service Commissioner Kevin Cramer, state Representative Rick Berg, and former University of Mary football coach Paul Schaffner. Pomeroy will likely be more vulnerable than usual due to his support for the Democratic House Healthcare bill, which 64% of North Dakotans opposed, and President's Obama declining job approval ratings in the state (of which 39% approve and 58% disapprove, with 45% strongly disapproving).