This is an analysis of a Senate race that doesn’t yet exist and may never happen. If it comes to be, though, it could have a real impact on what the Senate looks like in 2017. On Monday, Republican Gov. Jack Dalrymple announced that he would retire at the end of his term, creating an open-seat race in November of 2016. Republicans have no shortage of candidates. The Democratic bench is sparse, but there is one star, U.S. Sen. Heidi Heitkamp. There is probably not a single Democrat in North Dakota who doesn’t want to see Heitkamp run. She would give any Republican an extremely competitive race. At the same time, there probably isn’t a single Democrat in Washington who wants Heitkamp to run because of what might happen if she wins. First things first. Two things need to happen before anyone needs to worry about what happens next. One, Heitkamp has to decide she is running for Governor in 2016. And two, she has to win. Heitkamp doesn’t have to give up her Senate seat to run, which might
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