More clout with split delegation

Jon Mielke


The power of a U.S. senator comes with seniority and being a member of the party in power. A non-majority senator can also garner power if the majority’s margin is thin, like it is now.

A state generates the most perpetual power by having one senator from each party. That way it is a part of the power structure regardless of which party is in power. North Dakota has the best of both worlds right now with Senator Hoeven from the party in power and with Senator Heitkamp being frequently courted by the President because she can be a swing vote.

That is why Senator Heitkamp was invited to the White House the day after the President was being politically correct in Fargo. She had the opportunity to talk directly to the President about Supreme Court nominees and important North Dakota issues such as international trade, oil prices, and health care. If Mr. Cramer was North Dakota’s senator he would not have been invited to talk directly to the President because he always votes with the President.

North Dakota needs to maintain its powerful position in the U.S. Senate by having one senior senator in each party. That will be especially important if Democrats gain control of the Senate. If that happens and Mr. Cramer is elected, his power would be limited to a single vote while Senator Heitkamp would be in line to chair committees. North Dakota needs one of each.