The Democratic U.S. Senate nominee in North Dakota announced Friday that her new web ad denouncing political attacks has set a viewership record for the state.
Heidi Heitkamp, a former state attorney general, says the new ad, which she released earlier this week has attracted more viewers at a faster pace on YouTube than any other Senate race ad in state history. Heitkamp uses the ad - called "Twelve Years" - to highlight her 2000 battle against breast cancer and her support for the Affordable Care Act. The ad came after a series of ads from Republican groups - including the Crossroads PAC aligned with Karl Rove - attacking Heitkamp for her support of the health-care reform law.
YouTube reports that Heitkamp's ad has been viewed over 7,700 times as of Friday afternoon. Heitkamp said the ad had 7,000 views within two days of its release. The ad attracted national attention after its release.
North Dakota's Senate race has become one of the most competitive in the U.S., with Heitkamp holding a 1-point lead over Republican Rick Berg, the state's sole congressman, in a recent poll. Heitkamp has attacked Berg in recent weeks over his vote not to cut the congressional mail budget and his positions on the Farm Bill pending in Congress.
Heitkamp, a former gubernatorial candidate, has distanced herself from national Democrats at times, including criticizing President Barack Obama over the Keystone Pipeline. Heitkamp has highlighted her background as a board member of an energy company in the oil-rich state.
The Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee dedicated its first two ads to the North Dakota race, including one released this week.