The Native American Vote - Valley News Live - KVLY/KXJB - Fargo/Grand Forks

The Native American Vote

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Demographics have made key differences in past elections, and this year's vote proved to be similar.  Native Americans in North Dakota have clearly favored one particular party. 

A margin of only a couple thousand votes gave Democratic candidate Heidi Heitkamp the win in yesterday's election. So what gave her that edge? According to Tracy Potter of the Fort Abraham Lincoln Foundation, the difference more than likely came out of Sioux and Rolette Counties. More than 80 percent of voters in Sioux County voted in favor of Heitkamp, and in Rolette County, a margin of almost 3000 votes went towards the Democratic candidate.

But why did the majority of Native Americans vote democrat? UTTC president David Gipp says visiting the reservations makes the difference. "I think the consistency of requests or appearances by Democratic candidates was much stronger than Republican candidates," Gipp explained. 

He says Heitkamp visited the Standing Rock Sioux Reservation twice during her campaign, and asking for the vote and sending a strong message sways voters.

Potter says that among Native Americans who go to the polls, generally 80-85% vote Democrat.


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