It’s here. And there’s a buzz in North Dakota and across the nation as people are turning out in record numbers for the 2018 midterm elections. What that buzz means, we don’t quite know yet. It appears that by all measures the 2018 midterms will be one for the history books. It’s not altogether surprising after huge early voting numbers.
I must admit that with so many factors playing into this election cycle — particularly here in North Dakota — that it’s difficult to predict the outcome of today’s voting in the Heartland. With that said, The Minuteman will give it a whirl anyhow.
Incumbent Republican Ryan Rauschenberger has had a tough year. After being picked up for a DUI, he was forgiven by the NDGOP party faithful and secured their uncontested endorsement at April’s NDGOP State Convention. He then did the same by winning an uncontested nomination in June’s primary. His opponent, former Democratic-NPL Chairperson Kylie Oversen has tried making an issue of Rauschenberger’s baggage, but I’m guessing it won’t win her enough votes to beat him.
The Minuteman is going with Rauschenberger for another term.
Public Service Commissioner(s)
First elected in 2012, Republican Randy Christmann is seeking another term. The other Republican seeking to finish an unexpired 2-year term is Brian Kroshus. He was appointed by Governor Doug Burgum in February of 2017 after Brian Kalk resigned to accept a position with Energy and Environmental Research Center at the University of North Dakota. I bet there’s not 1 in 50 North Dakotans that would know their Democratic opponents.
The Minuteman predicts easy wins for Christmann and Kroshus.
Incumbent Republican Doug Goehring has been Ag Commissioner since 2009. He ran into a bit of trouble in 2014 when he admitted referring to staff as a “harem”. But he apologized, and after an investigation by the Human Resources Division, nothing came of it. He was re-elected later that year. His opponent this time around is State Senator Jim Dotzenrod (District 26). I see no obstacles for the incumbent.
The Minuteman sees another term for Doug Goehring.
It’s no secret that we’re not fans of incumbent Republican Wayne Stenehjem. I won’t hash over all the reasons. If you’re curious, just look through the articles here— in particular on page 3. Having said that, Stenehjem is thought by some to be great. His opponent this time is Attorney David Thompson. Thompson has picked up a bit of popularity lately with his support of Measure 3. But it’s probably not going to be enough.
The Minuteman predicts a Stenehjem win, but also sees Thompson getting more votes than previous opponents.
Secretary of State
Wow. What a crazy race this has been— one that predates the general election and even the primary. I won’t rehash it all. You can catch up on it here if you’d like. Incumbent Republican-turned-Independent Al Jaeger is taking on fellow Republican-turned-Independent Michael Coachman and Democrat Joshua Boschee. Democrats have tried to muddy the waters by campaigning for Coachman in an effort to split the Republican vote. I think this race will be very close. And it wouldn’t surprise me to see Boschee eke out a victory.
But in the end, I think name recognition prevails and The Minuteman is going with Al Jaeger in a squeaker.
This race features State Senator Kelly Armstrong (District 36). Armstrong jumped in the race after many within the NDGOP expressed concern over State Senator Tom Campbell (District 19) and his lack of conservative credentials. Armstrong won the party endorsement, Campbell withdrew from actively campaigning for the primary, and Armstrong won the day. His opponents are former Democratic State Senator Mac Schneider (District 42) and petitioner extraordinaire and mega-Trump supporter Charles Tuttle. Schneider has been impressive at times. Tuttle hasn’t been too shabby either. But I don’t think it’s enough.
The Minuteman sees Congressman Kelly Armstrong heading to Washington, DC.
This race alone is the reason many are going to the polls today. Incumbent Democrat Heidi Heitkamp vs. Congressman Kevin Cramer. The nation is watching. No need to delve into the specifics of the race. We’ve written a bit about Heitkamp’s blunders. I’m hearing of huge turnout on the eastern side of the state. That could be problematic for Cramer. Some thought he’d run away with it. I don’t think so.
The Minuteman is predicting a Kevin Cramer win in a close race.
No need to hash over all these either. You can read where we stand on them here. Here’s where The Minuteman sees the final votes:
Measure 1 — Passes. Unfortunately. This is one of those measures that drives critics of initiated measures crazy. Ethics sounds wonderful, but the devil’s in the details. It’s awful. But too many people don’t read beyond the brief description on the ballot. It should be defeated, but The Minuteman doesn’t see it happening.
Measure 2 — Passes. Easily. Not even all liberals think non-citizens should vote. The Minuteman sees this one passing with flying colors.
Measure 3 — Fails. This is heartbreaking for me to say. In fact, I’m inclined to say otherwise. But I see so many people that have bought the scare tactics. Apparently some folks are scared of freedom— especially when it comes to marijuana. The Minuteman sadly sees it going down to defeat. Hoping to be horribly wrong on this one, just like I was on medical marijuana in 2016.
Measure 4 — Passes. It’s a feel good measure. Many won’t look at the dollars involved or the principles at stake. And because of that, The Minuteman sees it passing. Volunteers will get their free license plates and admission to state parks.
Now we wait for the official results. Enjoy your evening.