Outlook: Solid Democratic
November 8, 2006 Update:
Sen. Kent Conrad (D)
The Republican nominee, Dwight Grotberg, has virtually no chance of defeating incumbent Senator Kent Conrad. It is simply amazing that the North Dakota GOP cannot come up with competitive candidates for Congress in a state that is easily 60 percent Republican, yet has all three of its Congressional seats held by Democrats.
Republicans got the news they had feared to hear at the end of last September: GOP Governor John Hoeven has decided not to challenge long-time Democratic Senator Kent Conrad. Hoeven would have been favored in the race and early polls showed him dispatching Conrad fairly handily. That makes sense, since Hoeven is a popular second-term chief executive and North Dakota is fundamentally Republican–though oddly it has 3 Democrats (out of 3 seats) representing it in the U.S. Congress.
Conrad now faces a much easier road, though no Democrat can ever take election in North Dakota for granted, though the GOP’s second choice–Public Service Commissioner Kevin Cramer–also declined to run. As of the June 13 primary, the Republican nomination officially belongs to Dwight Grotberg, a farmer and member of the Anderson Township Board of Trustees.
One of these years, the North Dakota voters will end the Democratic tri-opoly in its Congressional delegation. However, Senator Conrad is fully justified in breathing a deep sigh of relief and he can face November 2006 with much more confidence than he could have, had Gov. Hoeven been his opponent.
Kent Conrad (I) – Democrat – Second Quarter Raised: $368,878 | Cash on Hand: $3,464,713
Dwight Grotberg – Republican – Second Quarter Raised: $45,976 | Cash on Hand: $19,196
Gene Nicholas – Republican – current state representative
Jack Dalyrmple – Republican – current Lt. Governor