Lt. Gov. Dennis Daugaard continues to lead his Democratic challenger, Scott Heidepriem, by a wide margin in the race for governor of South Dakota.
A new Rasmussen Reports telephone survey of likely voters in the state finds Daugaard, a Republican, earning 52 percent support to Heidepriem’s 35 percent. Four percent prefer some other candidate, while nine percent are undecided.
Daugaard posted a nearly identical 52 percent to 36 percent lead last month just after winning his party's primary contest.
In four surveys conducted earlier this year, support for both candidates has shown little change. Daugaard’s support has ranged from 49 percent to 53 percent, while Heidepriem has captured 32 percent to 36 percent.
Heidepriem faces a traditionally conservative electorate that hasn’t elected a Democratic governor since 1974.
Male and female voters in South Dakota favor the Republican by double-digit margins. Daugaard leads by 13 points among voters not affiliated with either major party.
Republican Kristi Noem’s post-primary bounce appears to be over, and she and incumbent Democrat Stephanie Herseth-Sandlin are now in much tighter race for South Dakota’s only House seat.
Sixty-two percent of voters in South Dakota favor repeal of the new national healthcare bill. Thirty-four percent oppose repeal. These finding are roughly in line with voter sentiments nationally, and include 49 percent who strongly favor repeal and 24 percent who strongly oppose repeal.
Seventy-three percent of South Dakota voters who strongly favor repeal support Daugaard. Heidepriem earns support from 68 percent of those voters who strongly oppose repeal.
Twenty-six percent of voters in the state agree with the Justice Department's decision to challenge Arizona's new immigration law in federal court, but 61 percent disagree with that decision. This is even higher opposition to the federal move than is found among voters nationwide.
Heidepriem captures 56 percent support from those who agree with the Justice Department challenge. Daugaard earns 62 percent of the vote from those who disagree.
Sixty-eight percent of South Dakota voters favor a passage of a law like Arizona's in their own state, slightly higher than support on the national level. Only 19 percent oppose such a law in South Dakota.
Among voters who favor such legislation, 62 percent support the Republican. Sixty-seven percent who oppose an immigration law similar to Arizona’s favor the Democrat.
Heidepriem, a state senator, is viewed very favorably by 17 percent of the state’s voters and very unfavorably by 14 percent.
Twenty-five percent have a very favorable opinion of Daugaard, while six percent view him very unfavorably.
At this stage of the campaign, Rasmussen Reports considers the very favorable and very unfavorable figures more significant than the overall favorability totals.
Just 12 percent of voters in the state rate the economy as good or excellent. Thirty-nine percent view it as poor. By a two-to-one margin – 47 percent to 24 percent – voters say the economy is getting worse rather than better.
Sixty-one percent say the country is in a recession.
Sixty-four percent of South Dakota voters approve of the job being done by current GOP Gov. Mike Rounds, unchanged from the previous survey. Thirty-four percent disapprove of Rounds’ job performance.
This statewide telephone survey of 500 likely voters in South Dakota was conducted on July 6, 2010, by Rasmussen Reports. The margin of sampling error is +/- 4.5 percentage points with a 95 percent level of confidence. Field work for all Rasmussen Reports surveys is conducted by Pulse Opinion Research, LLC.
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