United States Senate election in North Dakota, 2010

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United States Senate election in North Dakota, 2010
North Dakota
2004 ←
November 2, 2010
→ 2016

  John Hoeven, Official Senate Portrait, 112th Congress.jpg Tracy Potter - 20100704.jpg
Nominee John Hoeven Tracy Potter
Party Republican Democratic
Popular vote 181,689 52,955
Percentage 76.1% 22.2%

North Dakota Senatorial Election Results by County, 2010.svg

County results

U.S. Senator before election

Byron Dorgan
Democratic

Elected U.S. Senator

John Hoeven
Republican

The 2010 United States Senate election in North Dakota took place on November 2, 2010 alongside other elections to the United States Senate in other states as well as elections to the United States House of Representatives and various state and local elections. Incumbent Democratic U.S. Senator Byron Dorgan announced in January 2010 that he would not seek re-election. Republican Governor John Hoeven won the open seat.

Background[edit]

Incumbent Byron Dorgan never had a difficult time getting elected, as he obtained 59%, 63%, and 68% in his three senate election bids, respectively. However, in December 2009, Rasmussen Reports conducted a hypothetical matchup of Governor John Hoeven against the incumbent. Hoeven led by a large margin, 58% to Dorgan's 36%. It should be noted that 61% of the state still had a favorable view of Dorgan, and if pitted against State Senator Duane Sand, the incumbent led 52% to 37%.[1]

Several prominent members of the North Dakota Democratic-NPL Party expressed an interest in the U.S. Senate race once Senator Dorgan announced that he would not run again. Among those people were Joel Heitkamp, a former North Dakota state senator and current radio talk show host of News and Views on KFGO Radio in Fargo, N.D. His sister, former North Dakota Attorney General Heidi Heitkamp of Bismarck, N.D., also considered running, but declined to enter the race as well.

Others who had indicated an interest in the race were businesswoman Kristin Hedger and national progressive talk show host Ed Schultz. Hedger was the Democratic candidate for North Dakota Secretary of State in the 2006 general election, which she lost to the incumbent, Republican Alvin Jaeger.

While flattered to have been asked, Schultz said he had to decline in that he would have been forced to give up his nightly television program on MSNBC The Ed Show as well as his daily progressive national radio show, The Ed Schultz Show, in order to run.

Also, Federal Communications Commission regulations decree that equal and free air time would have had to be given to whomever Schultz's opponents would have been in the election in order to allow them to respond to anything that Schultz would have said about them on his programs.

Democratic primary[edit]

Candidates[edit]

Results[edit]

Democratic primary results[3]
Party Candidate Votes %
Democratic Tracy Potter 26,211 99.6%
Democratic Write-in 95 0.4%
Totals 26,306 100%

Republican primary[edit]

Candidates[edit]

Results[edit]

Republican primary results[3]
Party Candidate Votes %
Republican John Hoeven 64,978 99.8%
Republican Timothy Beattie 130 0.2%
Totals 65,108 100%

Libertarian primary[edit]

Candidates[edit]

  • Keith Hanson[5]

Results[edit]

Libertarian primary results[3]
Party Candidate Votes %
Libertarian Keith Hanson 532 97.6%
Libertarian Write-in 13 2.4%
Totals 545 100%

General election[edit]

Candidates[edit]

Campaign[edit]

Hoeven was challenged in the race by North Dakota State Senator Tracy Potter of Bismarck. Potter received the endorsement of the North Dakota Democratic-NPL Party at its state convention on March 27, 2010. Governor Hoeven and Senator Potter advanced to the November 2, 2010 general election following balloting in North Dakota's primary election, which was held on June 8, 2010. Neither candidate faced any significant opposition in the primary election.

Aggregate polling indicated that Hoeven had large leads against Potter. Hoeven was enormously popular and enjoyed instant name recognition throughout the state of North Dakota. Hoeven was elected to an unprecedented third consecutive four-year term as governor in November 2008. Hoeven's election in 2010 to the U.S. Senate appeared to be all but a sure thing even before the campaign officially started. The immensely popular Hoeven enjoyed double-digit leads in opinion polling relative to the U.S. Senate race since earlier this year.[6][7]

John Hoeven was sworn into the U.S. Senate on January 3, 2011.

Predictions[edit]

Source Ranking As of
Cook Political Report Solid R[8] October 26, 2010
Rothenberg Safe R[9] October 22, 2010
Swing State Project Safe R[citation needed]
RealClearPolitics Safe R[10] October 26, 2010
Sabato's Crystal Ball Safe R[11] October 21, 2010
CQ Politics Safe R[12] October 26, 2010

Polling[edit]

Poll source Date(s)
administered
Sample
size
Margin of
error
John
Hoeven
(R)
Tracy
Potter
(D)
Other Undecided
Rasmussen Reports (report) October 20, 2010 500 ± 4.5% 72% 25% 0% 3%
Rasmussen Reports (report) September 20–21, 2010 500 ± 4.5% 68% 25% 2% 5%
Rasmussen Reports (report) August 10, 2010 500 ± 4.5% 69% 25% 1% 5%
Rasmussen Reports (report) July 21, 2010 500 ± 4.5% 69% 22% 2% 7%
Rasmussen Reports (report) June 15–16, 2010 500 ± 4.5% 73% 19% 2% 6%
Rasmussen Reports (report) May 18–19, 2010 500 ± 4.5% 72% 23% 2% 3%
Rasmussen Reports (report) April 20, 2010 500 ± 4.5% 69% 24% 2% 5%
Rasmussen Reports (report) March 23, 2010 500 ± 4.5% 68% 25% 2% 5%
Rasmussen Reports (report) February 9–10, 2010 500 ± 4.5% 71% 17% 4% 8%

Fundraising[edit]

Candidate (party) Receipts Disbursements Cash on hand Debt
John Hoeven (R) $3,419,202 $2,246,827 $1,172,375 $100,000
Tracy Potter (D) $117,739 $82,505 $35,332 $13,601
Source: Federal Election Commission[13]

Results[edit]

General election results[14]
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Republican John Hoeven 181,689 76.08% +44.36%
Democratic Tracy Potter 52,955 22.17% -46.11%
Libertarian Keith Hanson 3,890 1.63% N/A
Majority 128,734 53.91%
Turnout 238,534 100%
Republican gain from Democratic Swing

References[edit]

  1. ^ "2010 North Dakota Senate: Hoeven 58%, Dorgan 36% - Rasmussen Reports". Rasmussenreports.com. Retrieved 2010-08-21. 
  2. ^ "Potter seeks center in Senate race". Bismarcktribune.com. 2010-02-05. Retrieved 2010-06-14. 
  3. ^ a b c "North Dakota Secretary of State". ND Secretary of State. Retrieved 2010-06-09. 
  4. ^ "Hoeven ends suspense, enters Senate race". Bismarcktribune.com. 2010-01-11. Retrieved 2010-06-14. 
  5. ^ Wetzel, Dale. "Hoeven raises $1.37M in donations for N.D. Senate campaign". Grand Forks Herald. Associated Press. 
  6. ^ Rudin, Ken (2009-11-11). "Early Look At 2010 Senate Races: GOP Shows Improvement Since June". NPR. Retrieved 2010-06-14. 
  7. ^ Silver, Nate (2010-03-24). "Politics Done Right: Senate Forecast Update, 3/24". FiveThirtyEight. Retrieved 2010-06-14. 
  8. ^ "Senate". Cook Political Report. Retrieved October 26, 2010. 
  9. ^ "Senate Ratings". Rothenberg Political Report. Retrieved October 26, 2010. 
  10. ^ "Battle for the Senate". RealClearPolitics. Retrieved October 26, 2010. 
  11. ^ "2010 Senate Ratings". Sabato's Crystal Ball. Retrieved October 26, 2010. 
  12. ^ "Race Ratings Chart: Senate". CQ Politics. Retrieved October 26, 2010. 
  13. ^ "2010 House and Senate Campaign Finance for North Dakota". fec.gov. Retrieved June 7, 2010. 
  14. ^ Secretary of State - Election Night Results - November 2nd, 2010

External links[edit]

Official campaign websites