United States Senate election in North Dakota, 2012

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United States Senate election in North Dakota, 2012
North Dakota
2006 ←
November 6, 2012 → 2018

Turnout 60.6% (voting eligible)[1]
  Heidi Heitkamp official portrait 113th Congress.jpg Rick Berg, official portrait, 112th Congress.jpg
Nominee Heidi Heitkamp Rick Berg
Party Democratic Republican
Popular vote 161,337 158,401
Percentage 50.24% 49.32%

North Dakota Senate Election Results by County, 2012.png

U.S. Senate election results map. Blue denotes counties/districts won by Heitkamp. Red denotes those won by Berg.

U.S. Senator before election

Kent Conrad
Democratic

Elected U.S. Senator

Heidi Heitkamp
Democratic

The 2012 United States Senate election in North Dakota took place on November 6, 2012, concurrently with the 2012 U.S. presidential election as well as other elections to the United States Senate and House of Representatives and various state and local elections. Incumbent Democratic-NPL U.S. Senator Kent Conrad decided to retire instead of running for re-election to a fifth term. Though each party endorses a single candidate in state political conventions in the spring, North Dakota determines actual ballot access for the general election in a statewide primary election that was held June 12, 2012.[2] Former Democratic-NPL Attorney General Heidi Heitkamp ran for and won the open seat in a stunning victory.[3]

Democratic primary[edit]

The North Dakota Democratic-NPL Party held their state convention March 16–18, 2012, in Grand Forks. Former state attorney general and 2000 Democratic gubernatorial nominee Heidi Heitkamp was uncontested in seeking the official party nomination and was the only member of the party elected to appear on the state primary ballot.[4]

Candidates[edit]

Declared[edit]

  • Heidi Heitkamp, former state attorney general and 2000 Democratic gubernatorial nominee[5]

Withdrew[edit]

  • Thomas Potter, Presbyterian pastor and former professor of finance at UND[6] (dropped out February 2012)[7]

Declined[edit]

Republican primary[edit]

North Dakota Republicans endorsed U.S. Representative Rick Berg at their convention, though general election ballot access is determined by a statewide primary election held on June 12, 2012. In contrast to state political tradition, declared candidate Duane Sand did not seek the party endorsement, trying instead to defeat Berg on the June primary ballot.[18]

Candidates[edit]

Declared[edit]

Declined[edit]

Endorsements[edit]

Polling[edit]

Poll source Date(s)
administered
Sample
size
Margin of
error
Rick
Berg
Duane
Sand
Undecided
Mason Dixon June 4–6, 2012 625 ± 4% 73% 16% 11%
Forum Communications Co. May 3–8, 2012 500 ± 4.3% 65% 21% 14%

Likely general election voters

Results[edit]

Republican primary results[34]
Party Candidate Votes %
Republican Rick Berg 67,849 66.41%
Republican Duane Sand 34,209 33.48%
Republican Write-Ins 111 .41%
Totals 102,281 100%

General election[edit]

Candidates[edit]

Debates[edit]

The first debate between Berg and Heitkamp was broadcast on Prairie Public Television at 9 PM on Monday, October 15, 2012.[36]

Fundraising[edit]

Candidate (party) Receipts Disbursements Cash on hand Debt
Heidi Heitkamp (D) $5,341,362 $5,318,232 $23,130 $0
Rick Berg (R) $6,501,693 $6,129,026 $316,641 $0
Source: Federal Election Commission[37][38]

Top contributors[edit]

[39]

Heidi Heitkamp Contribution Rick Berg Contribution
Motley Rice LLC $41,750 Verizon Communications $43,666
Council for a Livable World $26,705 Elliott Management Corporation $29,413
Weitz & Luxenberg $22,400 NORPAC $26,700
Robbins, Geller Rudman, & Dowd LLP $15,050 Mewbourne Oil Co $25,000
Medcenter One Health Systems $12,000 Rurban Financial $22,700
American Association for Justice $10,833 Hess Corp $22,500
Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld $10,750 NACCO Industries $22,000
American Federation of Teachers $10,300 Marathon Oil $21,000
Patton Boggs LLP $10,250 Berkshire Hathaway $20,500
American Postal Workers Union $10,000 Koch Industries $20,000

Top industries[edit]

[40]

Heidi Heitkamp Contribution Rick Berg Contribution
Lawyers/Law Firms $433,811 Oil & Gas $433,949
Leadership PACs $284,500 Leadership PACs $277,163
Women's Issues $111,593 Financial Institutions $274,941
Lobbyists $103,635 Retired $218,909
Retired $100,812 Real Estate $171,686
Agribusiness $78,450 Agribusiness $163,583
Public Sector Unions $73,800 Insurance $140,011
Financial Institutions $64,713 Commercial Banks $127,140
Education $60,960 Health Professionals $114,438
Building Trade Unions $52,500 Mining $106,804

Independent expenditures[edit]

In early October 2012, Crossroads GPS announced it would launch a $16 million advertising buy in national races, of which four were this and three other Senate elections.[41]

Polling[edit]

Poll source Date(s)
administered
Sample
size
Margin of
error
Heidi
Heitkamp (D)
Rick
Berg (R)
Other Undecided
Pharos Research November 2–5, 2012 503 n/a 47% 49% 4%
Pharos Research October 26–28, 2012 752 ± 3.6% 50% 48% 2%
Mason-Dixon October 26–28, 2012 625 ± 4% 45% 47% 8%
Pharos Research October 19–21, 2012 807 ± 3.44% 49% 48% 3%
Rasmussen Reports October 17–18, 2012 600 ± 4% 45% 50% 5%
Forum/Essman October 12–15, 2012 500 ± 4.4% 40% 50% 10%
Mason-Dixon October 3–5, 2012 625 ± 4% 47% 47% 6%
Rasmussen Reports July 10–11, 2012 400 ± 5% 40% 49% 2% 8%
Mason Dixon June 4–6, 2012 625 ± 4% 47% 46% 7%
Forum/Essman May 3–8, 2012 500 ± 4.3% 44% 51% 5%

Results[edit]

United States Senate election in North Dakota, 2012[34]
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Democratic Heidi Heitkamp 161,337 50.24% -18.26%
Republican Rick Berg 158,401 49.32% +20.04%
Write-Ins 1,406 0.44%
Majority 2,936 1.0% -38.3%
Turnout 322,509
Democratic hold Swing

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Dr. Michael McDonald (February 9, 2013). "2012 General Election Turnout Rates". George Mason University. Retrieved April 6, 2013. 
  2. ^ "North Dakota election calendar". Secretary of State. July 2011. Retrieved August 17, 2011. 
  3. ^ Kate Nocera (November 7, 2012). "Heidi Heitkamp scores upset win in North Dakota". Politico. Retrieved April 17, 2014. 
  4. ^ "ND Democrats set their fall legislative ticket". Newsday. Associated Press. March 17, 2012. Retrieved March 29, 2012. 
  5. ^ a b Daum, Kristen M (November 8, 2011). "SPECULATION NO MORE: Heitkamp announces U.S. Senate run". Flickertales from The Hill. Retrieved November 8, 2011. 
  6. ^ Nodland, Chad (October 25, 2011). "Tom Potter: I'm Running For Senate". NorthDecoder.com. Retrieved October 25, 2011. 
  7. ^ Smith, Nick (February 24, 2012). "Potter drops Senate bid". The Bismarck Tribune. Retrieved February 25, 2012. 
  8. ^ Haga, Chuck (January 18, 2011). "Conrad will not run for re-election in 2012". Grand Forks Herald. Retrieved January 18, 2011. 
  9. ^ Miller, Joshua (September 26, 2011). "Ex-State Rep. Pam Gulleson Launches House Bid". Roll Call. Retrieved October 25, 2011. 
  10. ^ a b "State Sen. Schneider: 2012 U.S. Senate race not now ‘in the cards’". Grand Forks Herald. August 1, 2011. Retrieved October 25, 2011.  (subscription required)
  11. ^ Catanese, David (November 1, 2011). "Heitkamp telling Dems she's running for Senate". Politico. Retrieved February 25, 2012. 
  12. ^ Miller, Tricia (January 18, 2011). "Retirements Shuffle 2012 Senate Landscape". Roll Call. Retrieved January 18, 2011. 
  13. ^ Trygstad, Kyle; Toeplitz, Shira (April 11, 2011). "West Virginia, North Dakota Senate Race Ratings Change". Roll Call. Retrieved October 25, 2011. 
  14. ^ "Democrat Taylor joins race for N.D. governor". Grand Forks Herald. December 12, 2011. Retrieved December 19, 2011.  (subscription required)
  15. ^ a b c d Beitsch, Rebecca (January 18, 2011). "Neither party lacking Senate contenders". Bismarck Tribune. Retrieved January 18, 2011. 
  16. ^ Sullivan, Sean (April 28, 2011). "Club For Growth Slams Berg". National Journal. Retrieved April 29, 2011. 
  17. ^ Rodgers, Ben (January 19, 2011). "Schneider says he hasn't ruled out running for Conrad's Senate seat". The Jamestown Sun. Retrieved January 19, 2011. 
  18. ^ Daum, Kristen (March 29, 2012). "Divide within North Dakota’s GOP creates friction in endorsement process". Forum of Fargo-Moorhead. Retrieved March 29, 2012. 
  19. ^ a b Sobel, Julie (May 16, 2011). "Berg Enters N.D. Senate Race". National Journal: Hotline On Call. Retrieved October 25, 2011. 
  20. ^ a b Toeplitz, Shira (May 16, 2011). "House Freshman Berg Will Run for Senate in North Dakota". Roll Call. Retrieved October 25, 2011. 
  21. ^ "Sand Announces Entry into North Dakota Senate Race" (Press release). Standard Newswire. August 8, 2011. Retrieved October 25, 2011. 
  22. ^ Toeplitz, Shira (May 3, 2011). "N.D. GOP Expecting Competitive House Race". Roll Call. Retrieved October 25, 2011. 
  23. ^ a b Catanese, David (April 26, 2011). "N.D. lawmakers unite behind Berg for Senate". Politico. Retrieved October 25, 2011. 
  24. ^ Daum, Kristen M (October 13, 2011). "N.D. tax commissioner opts against congressional bid in 2012". Flickertales from The Hill. Retrieved October 25, 2011. 
  25. ^ a b Smith, Nick (November 3, 2011). "Dalrymple to run in 2012". Williston Herald. Retrieved November 3, 2011. 
  26. ^ Daum, Kristen M (November 29, 2011). "Goettle declares as 4th GOP contender in 2012 U.S. House race". Flickertales from The Hill. Retrieved November 29, 2011. 
  27. ^ Beitsch, Rebecca (May 13, 2011). "Sand starts Senate campaign committee". Bismarck Tribune. Retrieved October 25, 2011. 
  28. ^ Trygstad, Kyle (May 20, 2011). "Kalk to Run for House Instead of Senate in North Dakota". Roll Call. Retrieved May 20, 2011. 
  29. ^ Daum, Kristen M (December 5, 2011). "West Fargo legislator seeks GOP nod in packed U.S. House race". Flickertales from The Hill. Retrieved December 5, 2011. 
  30. ^ Miller, Tricia (December 27, 2010). "North Dakota GOPers Target Conrad Seat". Roll Call. Retrieved January 17, 2011. 
  31. ^ Finneman, Teri (February 20, 2012). "Kelly Schmidt to seek third term as North Dakota treasurer". The Forum of Fargo-Moorhead. Retrieved February 25, 2012. 
  32. ^ Gonzales, Nathan L (April 26, 2011). "Berg Senate Run Likely in North Dakota". Roll Call. Retrieved October 25, 2011. 
  33. ^ Bunk, Matt (June 1, 2011). "In Focus with Bismarck Mayor John Warford". Great Plains Examiner. Retrieved February 25, 2012. 
  34. ^ a b http://results.sos.nd.gov/resultsSW.aspx?text=Race&type=SW&map=CTY
  35. ^ http://www.wday.com/event/article/id/68540
  36. ^ PBS to broadcast North Dakota, Minnesota debates
  37. ^ "2012 House and Senate Campaign Finance for North Dakota HEITKAMP, HEIDI". fec.gov. November 26, 2012. Retrieved December 17, 2012. 
  38. ^ "2012 House and Senate Campaign Finance for North Dakota BERG, RICHARD A". fec.gov. November 26, 2012. Retrieved December 17, 2012. 
  39. ^ NDS2, Center for Responsive Politics
  40. ^ contributors by industry (opensecrets.org)
  41. ^ Haberman, Maggie (October 2, 2012). "Crossroads launches $16 million buy in Senate, presidential contests". Politico.com. Retrieved October 2, 2012. 

External links[edit]

Official campaign websites