The latest on South Dakota from Rasmussen:
The latest Rasmussen Reports statewide telephone survey, conducted two nights after the primary, finds Noem attracting 53% of the vote, while Herseth-Sandlin earns just 41%. Just five percent (5%) prefer some other candidate or are undecided. Prior to the primary, the incumbent held a three-point advantage over Noem. In April, Noem trailed by 15 points. It remains to be seen whether the bounce reflects a temporary aberration or signals a lasting change in the race.
Incumbents who poll below 50% are considered potentially vulnerable, and Herseth-Sandlin has been below that mark all year. However, incumbents have many benefits that can help them finish strong in an election season. In 2008, Rasmussen Reports showed two GOP senators, Mitch McConnell of Kentucky and Elizabeth Dole of North Carolina, as potentially vulnerable following the selection of their primary opponents. McConnell ended up winning reelection with 53% of the vote, while Dole went down to defeat.
Herseth-Sandlin, who was reelected with 67% of the vote in 2008, helped lay the groundwork for a fall campaign by voting against the president’s health care bill earlier this year. Sixty-six percent (66%) of South Dakota voters favor repeal of that law. That’s a bit higher than the national support for repeal.