In quintessential North Dakotan fashion, Republicans braced the freshly fallen snow to watch their red state get even redder at the Republican watch party in Fargo Tuesday night. Calvin Benson, a senior at North Dakota State, and Raheem Williams, an economist and North Dakota Young Republican policy advisor who lectured at NDSU, were supposed to watch Kevin Cramer give his acceptance speech in Bismarck, but were held up by the weather.
The results were not surprising to either of them. “I’ve gotten to know candidates (on) both sides of the aisle, and I’ve seen the energy from both sides of the aisle, and tonight’s results all across North Dakota were entirely expected,” Benson said.
Williams said some politicians in the state have fallen out of line with North Dakotan voters and need to do some soul searching.
North Dakota hasn’t sent three Republicans to Washington D.C. since 1965, and these young Republicans can smell the possibilities. Benson said these wins mean better policies for North Dakota in areas such as energy, agriculture, trade deals and international agreements.
Williams said he sees that North Dakota’s young Republicans have a lot to do with this election. “We’re getting younger, and one thing that this victory shows is that conservatism transcends generations,” Willaims said.
“NDSU is constantly touted as one of the most Republican schools in the country,” Benson said. Polling and results from the Fargodome precinct show just how red the university is, according to Benson.
“NDSU is constantly touted as one of the most Republican schools in the country.” – Calvin Benson
Williams said during his time lecturing at NDSU he saw that the students at NDSU were fairly open-minded. “I think we have some of the brightest young minds in the country. People think I’m blowing smoke when I say that,” Williams said. “But the fact of the matter is there’s not the ideological indoctrination you’ll find in East Coast schools, and because of that, you have more challenging (discussions); you have more action.”
According to Williams, the students at NDSU aren’t easily fooled by viral videos or celebrities when they make their selection for who they vote for, “they’re smarter than that.”
As an economist, Williams said the race was partially impacted by the tax cuts, which he said greatly benefit North Dakotans and the trade war with China. “North Dakotans were decisive in saying, ‘Hey, we understand the need of this nation because we are not a selfish group of people. That’s not what we are, and we want to see our nation have better deals.'”
Going forward, Benson said the Republican victory means, “We now have a long-term conservative government, which will mean fewer taxes, more individual freedoms and a better long-term outlook for North Dakotans than we have had in a long time.”
“I think this sends a very strong message to the rest of the country,” Williams said. “There was a lot of outside money. The Cramer campaign was grossly outspent, and it was a bunch of coastal elites trying to buy our Senate seat, but North Dakota said hell no.”