Tags: Mike Rounds | midterms | Senate | Democrats

As Ex-Gov. Rounds Stalls, Democrats Focus on SD Senate Race

As Ex-Gov. Rounds Stalls, Democrats Focus on SD Senate Race
South Dakota Gov. Mike Rounds, R-S.D. (Office of Gov. Mike Rounds/state.sd.us)

By    |   Thursday, 09 October 2014 11:24 AM

With fewer than four weeks to go until Election Day and GOP hopes bright for a Senate takeover, few would have thought a solidly red state like South Dakota would be in play for Democrats.

But as campaign numbers begin to stall there for former Republican Gov. Mike Rounds, Democrats sense weakness and are now pumping about $1 million into the race in hopes of a last-minute steal, The Hill reports.

"There are any number of Republican Senate candidates running bad campaigns right now, and I'm sure the NRSC has their hands full," Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee spokesman Justin Barasky told The Hill of South Dakota's increasingly unwieldy race.

The latest South Dakota polling showed Rounds losing ground to independent candidate Larry Pressler, with former Senate aide Rick Weiland, a true liberal Democrat, also holding his own. According to a Survey USA poll of likely voters, Rounds had a slim lead with 35 percent of voters supporting him, while Pressler was right on his heels with 32 percent and Weiland holding steady at 28 percent, the Aberdeen News reported.

Pressler, noted The Hill, has a unique bipartisan political history, serving the state as a Republican U.S. senator for many years — 1979-1997 — and then flipping support squarely for Barack Obama in both of his presidential bids.

The Hill, in handicapping the South Dakota race, reported: "The new poll is also the latest to suggest Pressler would easily take down Rounds, if Weiland dropped out of the race. In such a scenario, Pressler would take 54 percent support, while Rounds would draw 39 percent support."

Previously, national GOP interests had paid little attention to South Dakota, focusing on Pat Roberts' Senate rate in Kansas, where the veteran Republican incumbent was fighting a tough battle against independent Greg Orman.

Roberts got a bit of hopeful news Tuesday when a new CNN/ORC poll showed him in a near tie, running 49 to 48 percent against Orman, the Huffington Post noted, making the race one of the tightest in the nation.

A second poll from Fox News showed Roberts with a stronger lead in the race, besting Orman 44 to 39 percent.

In South Dakota, the latest RealClearPolitics polling average, taken from Sept. 20 to Oct. 5, showed Rounds up by 11 points.

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With fewer than four weeks to go until Election Day and GOP hopes bright for a Senate takeover, few would have thought a solidly red state like South Dakota would be in play for Democrats.
Mike Rounds, midterms, Senate, Democrats
378
2014-24-09
Thursday, 09 October 2014 11:24 AM
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