Nationalization of Politics Continues: South Dakota Senate Looking Safe for the GOP

Larry Pressler

Independent Larry Pressler has seen his star fade as election day draws nearer

There was a brief moment where it possibly looked like the unusual three-way Senate race in South Dakota could create an indirect opening for Democrats, but that moment is over. Two polls released this weekend show Republican Mike Rounds with a double digit lead.

The Marist/NBC poll has Rounds with 43 percent among likely voters, Democrat Rick Weiland at 29 percent and Independent Larry Pressler with just 16 percent.

The CBS News/New York Times/YouGov poll found nearly identical results. In that poll of likely voters Rounds has 38 percent, Weiland stands at 25 percent and Pressler is in third with 17 percent.

It is still possible we could see some last minute swing towards Weiland. Independent candidates tend to drop off as election day nears with their supporters deciding instead to vote strategically, but Rounds’ lead at the moment is so large even if that happens it shouldn’t make a difference.

It looks like the people of South Dakota realized they primarily prefer the Republican party and the best indicator of how a member will vote in Congress is their partisan alignment. The big theme of this election is the nationalization of our politics. The Senate races seem to be breaking almost perfectly based on partisan preference in each state.

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Nationalization of Politics Continues: South Dakota Senate Looking Safe for the GOP

Jon Walker

Jon Walker

Jonathan Walker grew up in New Jersey. He graduated from Wesleyan University in 2006. He is an expert on politics, health care and drug policy. He is also the author of After Legalization and Cobalt Slave, and a Futurist writer at