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RealClearPolitics Politics Nation Blog

 

Blog Home Page --> House -- South Dakota

SD-AL: Primary Win Bounces Noem Into Lead

By Kyle Trygstad

South Dakota Rep. Stephanie Herseth Sandlin has a race on her hands. A new poll shows the Blue Dog leader down 12 points to state Rep. Kristi Noem, who defeated two legitimate opponents to win the Republican nomination Tuesday.

Noem leads 53 percent to 41 percent in today's Rasmussen poll. Previous polls by Rasmussen showed Noem down 15 points in April and 3 points in May.

The result may reflect a bounce in the polls that many primary winners receive shortly after their victories. But Herseth Sandlin, running for a fourth full term, clearly could be in trouble polling in the low 40s at this point in the election year.

Herseth Sandlin has won re-election with nearly 70 percent in her last two elections. She was first elected to Congress in a 2004 special with 51 percent, then elected to a full term later that year with 53 percent.

This year, a quarter of the state's voters consider themselves part of the Tea Party movement, according to this latest poll, and Noem has the support of more than 80 percent of them. And President Obama, who took 45 percent of the vote in the state, now has an approval rating there of 40 percent.

SD Poll: Will Midterm Wave Topple Herseth Sandlin?

A new Public Policy Polling (D) survey warns that Rep. Stephanie Herseth Sandlin (D) is "facing her toughest contest for re-election" since she first won the seat in 2004, and it's the unpopularity of national Democrats weighing her down.

General Election Matchups
Herseth Sandlin 46 -- Nelson 39 --Und 15
Herseth Sandlin 52 -- Curd 31 -- Und 17

Twenty-five percent of South Dakotans support the health care bill passed in the House last month, while 59 percent oppose it. Herseth Sandlin voted against that bill, as did 38 other Democrats. But, PPP's Debnam says, "she can't completely separate herself from the unpopularity of her national party in South Dakota and that means she could have a tough fight for reelection."

Obama Job Approval: 41 / 52
Congressional Democrats Job Approval: 28 / 60
Congressional Republicans Job Approval: 31 / 51
Herseth Sandlin Job Approval: 49 / 38

State Rep. Blake Curd (R) has a 6 / 13 fav/unfav rating, while Secretary of State Chris Nelson's split is 29 / 12.

The automated telephone survey was conducted December 10-13, surveying 702 registered voters. The margin of error is +/- 3.7%.