Feb 15, 2018

Kevin Cramer changes his mind, will announce he's running for Senate

Rep. Kevin Cramer. Photo: Bill Clark / CQ Roll Call via Getty Images

Republican congressman Kevin Cramer will officially announce he's running against incumbent Democrat Heidi Heitkamp for the Senate seat in North Dakota at rally at a Bismarck hotel on Feb. 16, a source confirmed to the AP.

Why it matters: Last month Cramer decided against running, despite being courted by President Trump. But Republicans, who currently hold a narrow 51-49 majority in the Senate, are hoping to pick up North Dakota, which Trump won by double digits in 2016.

The backdrop: Many Republicans have described Cramer as the GOP's "best hope" of defeating Heitkamp in November.

  • Cramer has name recognition and holds the state's only House seat, making him a far more prominent figure in North Dakota than Republican state Sen. Tom Campbell, who's also running.
  • Cramer is also a close ally of President Trump. He promoted Trump early on in the presidential campaign.
  • Raising enough money to run was one of the reasons he cited when announcing he wouldn't challenge Heitkamp. But now Harold Hamm, an oil billionaire, has reportedly offered to help Cramer as his finance chair if he decides to run. (The curious thing is that Hamm has previously donated thousands to Heitkamp.)

The other side, per Joshua Karp, spokesman for Democratic PAC American Bridge:

"Mitch McConnell and Washington Republicans have been turned down over and over again by high-quality recruits in North Dakota, so out of desperation they are tying their fortunes to Kevin Cramer. "

Go deeper

There are warning signs that Nevada could be Iowa all over again

Former Sen. Harry Reid (D) lines up to cast an early vote for the upcoming Nevada Democratic presidential caucus. Photo: Ethan Miller/Getty Images

The alarms are increasingly sounding over Nevada's Democratic caucus, which is just five days away.

Why it matters: Similar issues to the ones that plagued Iowa's caucus seem to be rearing their ugly heads, the WashPost reports.

China tries to contain coronavirus, as Apple warns of earnings impact

Data: The Center for Systems Science and Engineering at Johns Hopkins, the CDC, and China's NHC; Note: China refers to mainland China and the Diamond Princess is the cruise ship offshore Yokohama, Japan. Map: Danielle Alberti/Axios

As China pushes to contain the spread of the novel coronavirus — placing around 780 million people under travel restrictions, per CNN — the economic repercussions continue to be felt globally as companies like Apple warn of the impact from the lack of manufacturing and consumer demand in China.

The big picture: COVID-19 has now killed at least 1,775 people and infected more than 70,000 others, mostly in mainland China. There are some signs that new cases are growing at a slower rate now, although the World Health Organization said Monday it's "too early to tell" if this will continue.

Go deeperArrowUpdated 4 hours ago - Health

Apple will miss quarterly earnings estimates due to coronavirus

Apple CEO Tim Cook

Apple issued a rare earnings warning on Monday, saying it would not meet quarterly revenue expectations due to the impact of the coronavirus, which will limit iPhone production and limit product demand in China.

Why it matters: Lots of companies rely on China for production, but unlike most U.S. tech companies, Apple also gets a significant chunk of its revenue from sales in China.