Daugaard’s huge lead

Scott Heidepriem and the Democratic Party are denouncing this poll. Meanwhile Lt. Gov. Dennis Daugaard is getting ready to drop the Lt. from his business cards.

Rasmussen Reports, which Democrats claim is biased against them, has all but called the South Dakota governor’s race. In a poll released this weekend, it gives Daugaard, the Republican candidate, a 59-27 lead over Heiedreim, a state senator who is the Democratic candidate.

Since Democrat Dick Kneip ran off an unmatched three straight wins in 1970, 1972 and 1974, Republicans have won every race. With a 32-point lead, it looks like that won’t change this year.

South Dakota has only elected four Democratic governors. Why? And how can they win again?

Here’s some excerpts from RR’s press release:

Support for Republican Dennis Daugaard has jumped to its highest level yet in South Dakota’s gubernatorial race.
A new Rasmussen Reports telephone survey of Likely Voters in the state finds Daugaard, the current lieutenant governor, leading Heidepriem by better than two-to-one, 59% to 27%. Four percent (4%) prefer some other candidate, and 10% are undecided.
Last month, Daugaard led Heidepriem 52% to 35%.
In surveys dating back to March, Daugaard’s support has remained in the narrow range of 49% to 53%. In the same surveys, support for Heidepriem has ranged from 32% to 36%.
Heidepriem faces a traditionally conservative electorate that hasn’t elected a Democratic governor since 1974.
Republican Kristi Noem again passes the 50% mark of support this month against incumbent Democrat Stephanie Herseth-Sandlin in the race for South Dakota’s only House seat.
This statewide telephone survey of 500 Likely Voters in South Dakota was conducted on August 3, 2010 by Rasmussen Reports. The margin of sampling error is +/- 4.5 percentage points with a 95% level of confidence. Field work for all Rasmussen Reports surveys is conducted by Pulse Opinion Research, LLC. See methodology.
Daugaard holds commanding leads among both male and female voters in the state. He earns 81% support among GOP voters, while just 55% of Democrats back Heidepriem, a state senator. Among voters not affiliated with either political party, the Republican leads his challenger 57% to 14%.
Sixty-nine percent (69%) of South Dakota voters regard Daugaard as a conservative. Thirty-two percent (32%) say Heidepriem is a liberal, while 33% view him as a moderate.
Two-thirds (67%) of voters in the state describe Daugaard’s political views as mainstream. Only 14% see them as extreme.
Forty-two percent (42%) characterize Heidepriem’s views as mainstream, but 35% think they’re extreme.
Twenty-five percent (25%) of voters in South Dakota share a Very Favorable view of Daugaard, while only two percent (2%) view him Very Unfavorably.
Heidepriem is viewed Very Favorably by 14% and Very Unfavorably by 12%.
Here’s a link to the poll results:

http://www.rasmussenreports.com/public_content/politics/elections/election_2010/election_2010_governor_elections/south_dakota/election_2010_south_dakota_governor

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