North Dakota's at-large congressman, Rep. Kevin Cramer (R), has a commanding lead over his opponent, Sen. Heidi Heitkamp (D), in the fight for North Dakota's U.S. Senate seat, a new poll reveals.
The poll results, which come amid the partisan fight to confirm Judge Brett Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court, underscore the magnitude of judicial nominations in the Trump-era while revealing just how crucial Kavanaugh's nomination is to vulnerable lawmakers.
The poll also shows that Democrats are faced with an impasse: Either allow vulnerable red-state Democrats to vote for Kavanaugh or risk their chance at regaining control of the Senate.
What does the poll show?
The poll, conducted by Strategic Research Associates and KFYR-TV, shows Cramer with a commanding 10-point lead in the crucial race. Among likely voters, the survey found that 51 percent back Cramer while just 41 percent back Heitkamp. The remaining 8 percent were undecided.
The poll was conducted after numerous allegations of sexual assault against Kavanaugh surfaced, but was completed before last Thursday's controversial hearing before the Senate Judiciary Committee.
Concerning Kavanaugh, 60 percent of the 650 respondents voiced their support for his nomination. Just 27 percent said they oppose it while the remaining respondents were undecided.
Meanwhile, 21 percent of respondents cited Kavanaugh as the midterms most crucial issue. He beat out health care, border security, the economy, and national security.
What's Heitkamp's position on Kavanaugh?
She has remained quiet about Kavanaugh and the allegations against him — an intentional strategy knowing she's facing a tough re-election battle.
After Kavanaugh's hearing before the Judiciary Committee last week, Heitkamp said she remains undecided. However, she said she's in the "final stages" of making her decision.
"This isn’t an easy decision. And honestly, I don’t think it should be easy for anyone," she said, according to the West Fargo Pioneer.
Heitkamp was one of three Democratic senators to support Neil Gorsuch, President Donald Trump's first Supreme Court nominee.
Meanwhile, the conservative leaning Judicial Crisis Network is pressuring Heitkamp, along with moderate Democrat Sen. Joe Manchin (W.Va.), to vote in favor of Kavanaugh's nomination with a new series of ads.