Heidi Heitkamp scored an important victory for Democrats in the North Dakota Senate race. Her win will expand the party’s majority by two seats in the chamber. Heitkamp, the state’s former attorney general, led Republican Rick Berg by 1 percentage point with 100 percent of the precincts reporting, according to The Associated Press.

She will replace retiring Sen. Kent Conrad, also a Democrat.

North Dakota is a “deeply conservative” state that Mitt Romney won by 20 points, making Heitkamp’s victory there all the more impressive.

The Washington Post:

Heitkamp’s personal appeal and promise to work across party lines in a state that has a long tradition of ticket-splitting won the day.

Heitkamp will become the first woman senator from North Dakota when she takes office next January.

North Dakota once looked like nearly a sure-thing pickup for the GOP. The state has grown increasingly Republican, and Obama is unpopular there. But Democrats’ recruitment of Heitkamp proved to be a winning move.

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— Posted by Tracy Bloom.


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