With North Dakota’s deer hunting opener looming – and making big news in several newspapers around the state – it’s difficult to tell whether hunters in the Peace Garden State will pick a new U.S. Senator Tuesday after the state Democratic Party hit a new low last week by attempting to convince hunters not to vote, claiming they could risk their out-of-state hunting licenses if they vote.
The advertisement appeared to create the impression that hordes of North Dakotans have “resident” hunting licenses in other states that would be jeopardized by voting in North Dakota.
The Associated Press and Politifact declared last Friday that the ad, which appeared on the party’s website and on social media, “is false.” Two questions arise:
Are North Dakota Democrats so desperate to protect the Senate seat now held by Heidi Heitkamp that they resort to this sort of thing? She is being challenged by Republican Rep. Kevin Cramer.
Is this an example of the new low to which Democrats nationwide are willing to dive in an effort to regain power on Capitol Hill? In the past, literacy tests and/or poll taxes were two approaches to discouraging voters in other parts of the country.
The advertisement said this: “Attention hunters: If you vote in North Dakota, you may forfeit hunting licenses you have in other states. If you want to keep your out-of-state hunting licenses, you may not want to vote in North Dakota.”
North Dakota hunters, just like hunters from any other state, can obtain non-resident licenses in other states “regardless of whether they vote,” the AP story noted. If any of those hunters might have neglected his or her vote while preparing for this weekend’s traditional opener, it would be a safe bet that they’ve changed their minds and will now be casting ballots.
Writing at his popular SayAnythingBlog, Rob Port observed:
“Hunters are a demographic that, while not entirely right-of-center, certainly trends in that direction, and Democrats would rather right-of-center voters not cast ballots…However Heitkamp and Democrats want to dress this up, it’s voter suppression…”
Democrats will look way back to the 1970s and Watergate, and declare, “See, Republicans do it, too” when it comes to dirty politics.
Republicans can look not so far back, to September’s confirmation hearings on Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh, and remind voters on this eve of the midterm elections about which party sprinted to the mud pit.
The pundits, save for a few, are predicting tight races and a change of control in the U.S. House of Representatives. In 2016, they were also looking forward to a Hillary Clinton walk-in-the-park victory.