The North Dakota Republican Party is, without question, the dominant political organization in the state.

The Democrats hold no statewide offices.

They haven't held a majority in either of the Legislature's chambers since the Clinton administration.

They haven't held a statewide executive branch office since the dawn of the Obama administration.

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Starting in 2010, the Democrats began losing their control of the state's congressional delegation, culminating in former Senator Heidi Heitkamp being cast by voters out of a Senate seat that had been home to a Democrat since the Eisenhower administration.

But, despite that dominance, the NDGOP's coalition is showing some cracks. In the Legislature, the secretive and controversial Bastiat Caucus has begun to define itself as the true protectors of the state's conservative movement and the NDGOP platform. Activists aligned with the caucus to one degree or another have, this year, launched a campaign to take over control of NDGOP district organizations, and perhaps ultimately the state party itself.

One of the most visible members of the Bastiat Caucus, Rep. Jeff Hoverson of Minot, who said he doesn't even belong to the Republican caucus in the state House, joins this episode of Plain Talk to discuss the movement.

All episodes of Plain Talk Live are also available on the Plain Talk podcast, which you can subscribe to by way of your favorite podcasting service.

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Rob Port, founder of, is a Forum Communications commentator. Reach him on Twitter at @robport or via email at