Skip to main content

In North Dakota, President Trump misleads over Heidi Heitkamp's voting record

A week after visiting Duluth, the president held a rally in Fargo.

President Donald Trump attempted to present North Dakota's Sen. Heidi Heitkamp as "a liberal Democrat" in Fargo on Wednesday, despite a voting record that suggests anything but.

The president told a crowd of 6,000 inside Scheels Arena that the state's Democratic senator "promised to be an independent vote for the people of North Dakota."

"Instead, she went to Washington and immediately joined Chuck ... and Nancy," he added, referring to Sen. Chuck Schumer and Rep. Nancy Pelosi.

Heitkamp is seen by Republicans as potentially vulnerable in November's Senate elections in what is predominantly a red state, with Trump throwing his weight behind GOP opponent Kevin Cramer.

But Trump's comments at the Wednesday rally paint a misleading picture of Heitkamp's voting record during his presidential tenure.

Subscribe: Sign up for our daily newsletters.

Since he took office, FiveThirtyEight has examined each Congress member's voting record and how it aligns with Trump's position, something it calls the "Trump score."

Heitkamp? The second highest Democrat on the list.

She has voted in favor of Trump positions on 55.4 percent of votes since he took office in January 2017, behind only Joe Manchin III in West Virginia with 60.8 percent.

In fact, Trump praised her as a "good woman" during a visit to North Dakota just last year, as The Washington Post reports.

Heitkamp is one of only 4 Democratic senators to vote for Trump's position more often than not, which is particularly significant considering the GOP only has a 51-49 majority.

Heitkamp has shown herself more than willing to defy Senate minority leader Chuck Schumer (who votes 24.3 percent with Trump's position), but that said, her voting record doesn't necessarily reflect the wider interests of North Dakotans.

Trump got a 35.7 percent higher share of the vote than Hillary Clinton in the 2016 election, and FiveThirtyEight says that based on this number, the state's U.S. senators should be expected to vote with Trump 92.7 percent of the time.

Today's Top Stories

– Twins pick Larnach hits dramatic homer in College World Series.

– Attacker seriously injures Minneapolis hotel worker with a shovel.

Her fellow North Dakotan U.S. senator, Republican John Hoeven, has voted with the president 97.3 percent of the time.

The Associated Press notes that Heitkamp has largely backed Republican and corporate interests on energy in oil-rich North Dakota, as well as opposing some restrictions on guns and confirming most of Trump's Cabinet nominations.

Trump however called her out for voting against his tax bill and efforts to un-do Obamacare.

Out of interest, Minnesota Sen. Amy Klobuchar voted with Trump's position 29.7 percent of the time, while Sen. Tina Smith did so 23.5 percent of the time (0.1 percent less than Al Franken).

Next Up

Screen Shot 2023-01-27 at 7.45.44 PM

Protest for Tyre Nichols to be held outside MN Governor’s Mansion

Activists groups say they’ll call on Gov. Tim Walz and the Legislature to implement police reforms.


Minnesota pool contractor banned from industry, must pay $2 million-plus

Minnesota Attorney General Keith Ellison filed suit against Charles Workman and his company, MN Crete Pools, LLC, in August.

Minneapolis police

St. Paul man identified as victim of north Minneapolis homicide

The shooting occurred on the 2200 block of Emerson Avenue North on Wednesday.


Two youths seriously injured after being struck by driver in Bloomington

Police say the boy is in a critical condition, while the girl has severe injuries.

Rosedale Center

Two men sentenced for carjacking in Rosedale Center parking lot

Leon Kismit Bell, 49, and Jack Mitchell Piche, 23, were sentenced in U.S. District Court on Jan. 20.

Screen Shot 2023-01-27 at 3.59.30 PM

Police identify White Bear Lake officer shot while serving warrant

The officer is a six-year veteran of the department.

abortion, planned parenthood

Minnesota Senate passes bill codifying abortion into state law

Having already passed in the House, it will now be sent to Gov. Tim Walz for signing into law.

Screen Shot 2023-01-27 at 7.45.44 PM

Tyre Nichols: Initial police version of events bear similarities to George Floyd killing

Memphis PD said Nichols complained of 'shortness of breath' following 'confrontations' with police, who in reality violently beat him.

George Floyd, protest

Twin Cities authorities preparing for community reaction to Tyre Nichols video

The ATF division in St. Paul sent out an alert out of "an abundance of caution."


North Dakota's Heidi Heitkamp a 'no' on Brett Kavanaugh

She said she believes his accuser, Dr. Christine Blasey Ford.

What Donald Trump said about Minnesota during his rally

The president spoke to a packed house at the Amsoil Arena in Duluth.

Duluth prepares for visit of President Donald Trump

A number of counter protest events will be held in the city.

What to know about President Trump's visit to Minnesota

The president will be in Rochester this afternoon.

Poll shows drop in Trump, Republican support in Minnesota

But the president's support is more resilient here than in Wisconsin or Michigan.

Screen Shot 2019-10-11 at 7.01.24 AM

Star Tribune poll spells bad news for President Trump in Minnesota

The president had vowed to win Minnesota in his most recent rally.