The Campaign Spot

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.

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