Today it was reported that former Vice President Joe Biden is scheduled to be the keynote speaker at next month’s 2018 Democratic-NPL State Convention in Grand Forks. According to the report, the move is intended in hopes of garnering support for U.S. Senator Heidi Heitkamp’s re-election bid.
In a statement, President Barrack Obama’s former sidekick said:
“Heidi lives and breathes North Dakota—she fights with every fiber of her being for rural America… Heidi has been a strong leader in the Senate and most importantly, she gets the job done for the people she serves.”
There’s just one problem for Democrats– there’s just not strong support for them in the state right now. By pretty much every political measuring rod one can imagine, the 2016 Democratic-NPL State Convention was a flop. You can see a picture of the poor attendance here. Their 2016 election cycle was a mega disappointment.
You may remember that Democrats failed to run candidates for all the state-wide offices in the 2016 election cycle (even Libertarians had a candidate for every office). They ran a long-time State Representative – and then 78-year old – named Eliot Glassheim to run against incumbent Republican Senator John Hoeven. Glassheim was crushed by Hoeven, receiving just 17% of the vote. Their candidate for U.S. House versus incumbent Republican Congressman Kevin Cramer was DAPL protester and Native American activist Chase Iron Eyes. Iron Eyes lost handily to Cramer, receiving about 24% of the vote. And, of course, Democrats watched – with the rest of the world – as Hillary Clinton was stunned by Donald Trump for the Presidency of the United States.
We also can’t forget that the 2017 Legislative Assembly only had 22 Democrats.
So, why are Democrats having such a difficult time in North Dakota right now? It’s fairly simple– they just don’t represent the majority of North Dakotan’s.
When it comes to Heitkamp, a recent guest article by Madison Rodgers of North Dakota’s Young Republicans pointed out that, despite the rhetoric, she’s about as partisan as they come. We also published an article last month detailing her problematic record. It’s not good.
Bringing Joe Biden to North Dakota as a keynote speaker is unlikely to bolster more support for North Dakota’s Democrats. What it does accomplish is to show one more example of how out of touch they really are. For eight years, the vast majority of North Dakotan’s endured a Barrack Obama presidency. On issue after issue, Obama defied what North Dakota stands for. And by his side the entire time was Joe Biden. The Obama/Biden ticket was whipped by North Dakotan’s in both the 2008 and 2012 Presidential elections. And Trump’s pummeling of Hillary Clinton in 2016 was even worse for the party as a whole.
Whether it’s buddying-up to U.S. Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, after a vote to continue permitting abortions after 20-weeks, or bringing Joe Biden to North Dakota for a keynote, Heitkamp and North Dakota’s Democrats may want to re-think strategy if they ever want to be relevant in this state again.