PPP: SD Senate race tightens

In case you missed it from last week, Public Policy Polling, one of the most accurate pollsters during the 2012 election cycle, shows the US Senate race for Senator Tim Johnson’s seat tightening up! Read more about the poll and the hard work Rick Weiland is doing to earn your vote.

October 16, 2013

SD Senate race tightens

PPP’s newest South Dakota poll finds that the race has tightened since the summer, with Republican Mike Rounds now winning by only 6 points. He’s at 40% to 34% for Democrat Rick Weiland, with Libertarian Kurt Evans polling at 11%.

The Senate oampaign is taking a toll on Rounds’ popularity. When PPP polled South Dakota in March he had a 51/34 favorability rating, but now voters are closely divided on him with 42% seeing him favorably to 40% with a negative opinion. Rounds’ standing has dropped with Democrats, Republicans, and independents alike.
Weiland actually has a better net favorability rating than Rounds at +9 with 28% of voters seeing him positively to 19% with a negative opinion. Weiland’s name recognition is lower than Rounds, but that also gives him more room to grow. 17% of Democrats are undecided compared to only 12% of Republicans.

One noteworthy development in the race is the Libertarian Evans polling at 11%. His strong support may be a function of 2 things- voters disgusted with both parties, but also discomfort on the right with Rounds that has had some conservative interests shopping for another candidate. A similar dynamic helped the Libertarian candidate get 7% in Montana last year, and contributed to Jon Tester’s reelection.

Despite South Dakota’s general Republican leaning voters in the state are closely divided on who’s at blame for the government shutdown with 39% blaming President Obama and the Democrats, but 38% pinning it on Speaker Boehner and the Republicans.

68% of South Dakotans think that government has been taken over by big money interests, and by a 58/34 margin they’re concerned that Rounds will be too beholden to special interests.

This poll was conducted on behalf of People for Weiland. Full results here.

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