Heidi Heitkamp, 56, the Democrat hoping to replace longtime incumbent U.S. Senator Kent Conrad, North Dakota, says President Obama has failed to unite the country and he is wrong for opposing the Keystone XL pipeline and wrong on healthcare.
However, Republicans are running videos from 2008 that show Heitkamp praising the president and his policies. Since Heitkamp decided to run for the Senate and Obama decided to block construction of a major Canadian natural gas pipeline through the state, Heitkamp turned to critcizing Obama and ignoring his administration altogether whenever she can.
Heitkamp, a former state tax commissioner and attorney general who lost a campaign for governor, doesn’t even mention her party affiliation in an ad released last week, according to an NPR accounting.
Republican Rep. Rick Berg who is expected to win the GOP nomination in next Tuesday's primary will face Heitkamp in a contest for the potential game-changing senate seat that was in the Democrats' camp for six terms. Berg is up 7 points in an independent poll but Democrats claim Heitkamp is up in one of their polls.
Republicans need a net gain of four seats to take over the U.S. Senate without a Romney win, and 3 seats if incumbent Obama is not re-elected since the Vice President votes in the Senate.
Berg has more cash on hand than Heitkamp, but she raised slightly more cash than the Republican last month. Heitkamp, the Democrat, is spending much of her time trying to distinguish her politics from those of President Obama, who lost in North Dakota to Republican John McCain by 9 points in 2008.
However the conservative group Crossroads GPS is airing a video ad from 2008 where Heitkamp says: "I think Barack Obama's going to be amazing and I think that we are on our way to a better United States." The Crossroads ad then goes on to say: "Tell Heidi, Obamacare is not the way to a better United States. Support the repeal of Obamacare."