Both current Democratic Sen. Heidi Heitkamp and her opponent Republican Rep. Kevin Cramer attended the North Dakota State Homecoming parade Friday, Sept. 21.
“I love Homecoming. It is a great way to connect with people,” Heitkamp said.
“There are a lot of events, but I’ve found that you can only do about 10 percent,” Cramer said. “In my whole public career, I try to touch a lot of people as I can, and in parades you can interact with the most people and show your values to students, alumni and adults.”
After the parade, both candidates exclaimed their enthusiasm for the NDSU Homecoming Parade.
“Had a great time marching with the #HornsUpforHeidi team in the @NDSU homecoming parade tonight! Even our camper went out with a bang! It was so nice to celebrate the team after seeing them in Frisco in January. Thanks for coming out, Bison-lovers!” Heitkamp tweeted.
Shortly before, Cramer tweeted, “Wow. What an amazing turnout for NDSU’s homecoming parade in downtown Fargo. The turnout was incredible and the enthusiasm moreso. #CramerCrew #GoBison. #NDSen.”
Heitkamp and Cramer are set to debate Oct. 5 in a Prairie Public-AARP debate co-moderated by PBS NewsHour anchor Judy Woodruff. The two Senate candidates are then scheduled for debates later that month sponsored by the North Dakota Newspaper Association and the North Dakota Broadcasters Association. Many of the issues discussed could affect college students.
“Health care is crucial,” Heitkamp said. “Students shouldn’t worry about being taken off their parents’ insurance once they graduate. America’s student loan debt is too much, and access to the internet is crucial to your future, which is why I support net neutrality.”
The upcoming debates between Heitkamp and Cramer will provide voters with the opportunity to differentiate the candidates based on their policy stances. One of these topics includes the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017 under the Trump Administration, which Heitkamp opposes and Cramer supports.
“Since the Republicans have controlled the Senate, we have provided opportunities for college students, such as entrepreneur legislation, which reduced the regulation and rights of early entrepreneurs,” Cramer said. “This proves better opportunities for students through the creation of more jobs. So many students have such good ideas, and these legislations enable them to take them to the marketplace.”
Though both candidates may disagree on many issues, they both proclaimed the importance of voting, especially for college students. While many people believe that one vote is ineffective, one vote in North Dakota has a 26 percent greater impact than in any other state.
“So many people died to create our nation and continue to die to preserve our freedom, therefore, it is our obligation to vote,” Cramer said. “If you want to complain about the government, then you must vote.”
While the race has been tightening since the beginning, the most recent survey found that Cramer leads Heitkamp 48 to 44 percent with 6 percent undecided, according to a survey conducted by Mason-Dixon from Sept. 8-11 by telephone with 804 eligible voters.
The North Dakota Senate race has captured the attention of the nation because it will contribute to determining the party that will control the United States Senate.