The most important figure in North Dakota’s 2018 Senate race may be Gov. Doug Burgum

North Dakota Gov. Doug Burgum is absolutely not running for the U.S. Senate in 2018. When persistent rumors suggesting he was interested in federal office this cycle kept popping up last year, I actually checked in with him about them.

He told me in September there was “no truth whatsoever” to the rumors.

Still, Burgum may end up being the most important figure in the 2018 cycle because of how many voters he lured away from Democrats during the 2016 cycle.

Right now Congressman Kevin Cramer, a three-term House incumbent, has us all in “will he or won’t he” mode as he flirts with a Senate run.