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banner Friday, 7 January, 2000, 17:49 GMT
North Dakota

Despite having an all-Democrat Congressional delegation, North Dakota is Republican in presidential elections.

Key facts
Population: 643,539 (ranked 40 among states)
Governor: Edward T. Schafer (R)
Electoral College votes: 3
In the 20th century it voted for just three Democratic presidents and Republican strength is as strong ever, particularly in the west of the state. Republican hopeful George W Bush has already proved popular in early fundraising.

1998 Congress
House of Representatives: 1 Democrat
Senate: 2 Democrats
Wheat-covered plains dominate the landscape and the state produces a tenth of the US harvest. The population is almost the same as it was during the First World War.

Agriculture is the main political issue, continuing a strain of rural radicalism that was embodied by the Non-Partisan League during the first half of the 20th century. In the face of declining federal support, farm subsidies are top of the political agenda, although the strength and power of agriculture is not quite what it once was.

Voting record
1996: Dole 47%, Clinton 40%, Perot 12%
1992: Bush 44%, Clinton 32%, Perot 23%
1988: Bush 56%, Dukakis 43%
Towns such as Fargo and Bismarck are growing as the number of traditional family farms is declining, and Governor Ed Schafer, like many of those living in the cities, is a strong supporter of trying to broaden the economy away from farming.

In later life, Theodore Roosevelt said, "I never would have been president if it weren't for my experiences in North Dakota".

He was talking not about votes but spiritual healing from its prairies and plains following the death of his wife and mother on the same day in 1884.

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