GOP closes in on Heitkamp knockout -- and control of the Senate

Heitkamp is down in public polls by a significant margin, and most political handicappers think Rep. Kevin Cramer (R-N.D.) is the favorite to beat her. If she goes down, Democrats would basically have to run the table in every other battleground race to take the chamber.

Republicans have had Heitkamp losing by double digits in their private polling for weeks, according to a GOP strategist working on Senate races. Democrats argue the race is closer but acknowledge she is down even in their polling, after her vote against Brett Kavanaugh’s confirmation to the Supreme Court.

“At this point, it’s really ours to lose,” said Sen. John Thune (R-S.D.). “The race, probably to her detriment, has been nationalized around the Supreme Court and Trump.”…

Democrats say their private polling shows Heitkamp’s numbers recovering after dropping by double digits during the Kavanaugh fight, according to two Democrats familiar with the race. Heitkamp came out against Kavanaugh shortly before he was confirmed.

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