This will be a relatively short entry in this series. In North Dakota, we have a trifecta- a gubernatorial, a senatorial and a House race. In the gubernatorial race, incumbent GOP Governor Jack Darymple became Governor when John Hoeven resigned in 2010 to run for the Senate. He was reelected in 2012, but in 2015 opted against another full term. Darymple leaves office a fairly popular figure and the state has one of the lowest unemployment rates in the country. His hand-picked and endorsed successor was state treasurer Wayne Stenejhem whose entry into the race chased other potential candidates out of the race.
His main opponent in the GOP primary was Doug Burgum, a former Senior Vice President with Microsoft. Mainly on the strength of portraying his opponent as an establishment crony, Burgum breezed to an easy primary victory with almost 60% of the vote. He will now face Democratic state representative Marvin Nelson in the general election. It is a fairly safe bet that Burgum will win on November 8th.
In the Senate race, John Hoeven will face Democratic state representative Elliot Glassheim and Hoeven should have no trouble winning here. For the lone House seat, GOP incumbent Kevin Cramer takes on Chase Iron Eyes for the Democrats- the candidate with the third coolest name running this year after Wanna Dube in Missouri and Zephyr Teachout in New York. Again, no trouble for the GOP here.
In the presidential sweepstakes, Trump should take their whopping three electoral votes rather easily in double digits.
If North Dakota is boring, South Dakota is even more so. John Thune faces reelection to the Senate on the GOP side and should easily defeat his Democratic opponent, Jay Williams- a nobody with a very liberal agenda. Admittedly, sometimes South Dakota offers up some interesting characters…like George McGovern. But not this year.
For the House race, Republican Kristi Noem, considered an up-and-coming leader in Republican circles, will face Paula Hawks, a state representative. Again, look for the GOP to do well here. In the presidential race, Trump will carry the state by about 9 points.
After this entry, the electoral vote count now stands at 71-59 in favor of Donald Trump. There is no change in the House with the GOP holding a 246-189 advantage and they maintain their 54-46 advantage in the Senate.
Tomorrow: we move into the Rocky Mountain states of Idaho, Montana and Wyoming.