Tags: South Dakota

Great. Another Old ‘Moderate’ Republican Launches an Independent Bid


From the Morning Jolt, back in February:

One thing we do need to establish going forward is that the right way to sort these divisions out is through primaries, and that this third-party spoiler crap has to end immediately. Here in Virginia, lieutenant governor Bill Bolling is the latest GOP lawmaker to flirt with the I’m-gonna-lose-the-party-nomination-so-I’ll-leave Club. If Bolling bolts, he’ll join Charlie Crist of Florida and Lisa Murkowski of Alaska; we can throw in Arlen Specter flipping parties, too.

Hey, guys, “if I stay in the party I’ll lose the nomination, and I don’t want to” is not a principled reason to leave the party.

Here we go again. In South Dakota, a state with a Cook Partisan Voting Index score of R+10, a self-described moderate Republican who endorsed Obama twice, at the ripe young age of 71, is making a comeback Senate bid:

Is South Dakota ready for a comeback from Larry Pressler?

Turned out of the Senate after three terms by Tim Johnson in 1996, Pressler will run for the same seat 18 years later.

“Today, I am announcing that I am running for the United States Senate, and I intend to win,” Pressler said.

But Pressler, 71, a lifelong Republican who was in the GOP for his entire time in Congress, won’t be in that party’s crowded primary. Instead, he’d run as an independent, giving voters next November a third choice between presumed Democratic nominee Rick Weiland and the Republicans’ top candidate.

In an R+10 state, a Republican has a strong advantage. In an R+10 state, with one Democratic candidate, one Republican candidate, and one independent candidate who spent three terms as a Republican, the Democrat has a shot.

Tags: Larry Pressler , South Dakota , Rick Weiland

The Choices Tomorrow in South Dakota


South Dakota’s primaries aren’t getting quite as much attention as Nevada’s or California’s, but they, too, will bring voters to the polls tomorrow.

In the governor’s race, two-term incumbent Republican Mike Rounds is term-limited. The Democratic nominee, state senator Scott Heidepriem, faces no primary opposition; five Republicans are slugging it out: Lt. Gov. Dennis M. Daugaard, state senator Gordon K. Howie, state senator Dave Knudson, rancher Ken Knuppe, and former Brookings mayor Scott Munsterman. Rasmussen finds Knudson and Daugaard running best against Heidepriem in head-to-head matchups., but has not polled the primary.

Three Republicans are competing for the chance to take on Rep. Stephanie M. Herseth Sandlin, a Democrat: state representative Blake Curd, Secretary of State Chris Nelson, and state representative Kristi Lynn Noem.

Like the governor’s race, Rasmussen is polling all candidates against their Democratic counterparts, but not within the primary; he finds two running rather competitively with Sandlin:

Noem, R-Castlewood, trailed Herseth Sandlin 43 percent to 46 percent in a May 27 match-up by Rasmussen Reports, a national political polling company. A month earlier, Herseth Sandlin led Noem 50 percent to 35 percent. Rasmussen has been matching Noem, Secretary of State Chris Nelson and state Rep. Blake Curd, R-Sioux Falls, the three Republican U.S. House candidates, against Herseth Sandlin in monthly voter surveys. Nelson has been the consistent Republican leader in those match-ups, until Noem’s surge in the May survey. Nelson trailed Herseth Sandlin 43 percent to 47 percent in May. He trailed 41 percent to 45 percent for Herseth Sandlin in April.

Tags: South Dakota , Stephanie Herseth-Sandlin

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