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North Dakota Senate - Hoeven vs. Potter


John Hoeven

John Hoeven (R)

Bio | Campaign Site

Tracy Potter

Tracy Potter (D)

Bio | Campaign Site

North Dakota Snapshot

RCP Ranking:
2010 State Races: ND-AL

----------PAST KEY RACES----------

President | Governor
2006: Senate | ND-AL
2004: President | Governor

Polling Data

PollDateSampleHoeven (R)Potter (D)Spread
Final Results----76.222.2Hoeven +54.0
Rasmussen Reports10/21 - 10/21500 LV7225Hoeven +47
Rasmussen Reports9/20 - 9/21500 LV6825Hoeven +43
Rasmussen Reports8/10 - 8/11500 LV6925Hoeven +44
Rasmussen Reports7/21 - 7/21500 LV6922Hoeven +47
Rasmussen Reports6/15 - 6/16500 LV7319Hoeven +54
Rasmussen Reports5/18 - 5/19500 LV7223Hoeven +49
Rasmussen Reports4/20 - 4/20500 LV6924Hoeven +45
Rasmussen Reports3/23 - 3/23500 LV6825Hoeven +43

Race Analysis

For decades, North Dakota was as solidly Republican as the South was Democratic. But it was a very different kind of Republican Party from the one we’re accustomed to today. Its economic policies were dictated by the Non Partisan League, a socialist group that dominated politics in the Great Plains during the first half of the 20th century. And so, North Dakota produced Republican senators such as Gerald Nye, who were generally supportive of the New Deal, but who were skeptical of foreign entanglements. After the Roosevelt administration, these progressive impulses were largely confined to the Democratic Party, which began to grow in the state.

These liberal economic impulses are today exemplified by the state’s two Democratic Senators: Kent Conrad and Byron Dorgan. Both Democrats are old-school populists, railing against Wall Street and excessive government borrowing. A fixture in North Dakota politics since the 1960s, Dorgan decided to call it a career this year, leaving an extremely vulnerable open seat in what is shaping up to be a bad Democratic year.

The Republicans have further complicated matters for the Democrats by nominating John Hoeven, the popular two-term Republican governor of the state. Even Hoeven is somewhat within the tradition of the NPL – he served as president of the state-owned bank and has been criticized by Republicans within the state for his dalliances with economic liberalism. He even identified with the state’s Democratic Party as late as 1996. Nevertheless, Hoeven is the solid favorite for this Senate seat.