Zogby: Thune Ahead of Daschle

Poll: Republicans inch ahead (Rapid City Journal)

Republicans John Thune and Larry Diedrich have overcome double-digit deficits to draw ahead of their Democratic rivals, Sen. Tom Daschle and Rep. Stephanie Herseth, according to an independent poll. The Republicans’ leads were between about 1 and 2.5 percentage points – within the poll’s 3.5 percent margin of error – and pollster John Zogby of Zogby International warned that the Senate and House races in South Dakota were too close to call. “We’ve got two competitive races here,” he said. Libertarian House candidate Terry Begay polled less than 1 percent.

The Rapid City Journal, KOTA-TV and other state media outlets commissioned the poll, which Zogby conducted Monday and Tuesday. Pollsters interviewed 800 likely voters. Thune led Daschle 48 percent to 45.5 percent in the Senate race, Zogby said. Diedrich led Herseth to 47.2 percent to 46.1 percent. “It’s all in the hands of independent voters,” Zogby said, noting the high number of undecided voters who are not members of a political party.


Current voter registration in South Dakota breaks down to 47.5 percent Republican, 38.1 percent Democrat. Most of the rest are independents. The Libertarian and Constitution parties each have less than 1 percent.

Very interesting, although certainly not decisive. The article points out that many people question Zogby’s likely voter screen. Still, the idea that a sitting Minority Leader could be knocked off is exciting.

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James Joyner
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James Joyner is Professor and Department Head of Security Studies at Marine Corps University's Command and Staff College. He's a former Army officer and Desert Storm veteran. Views expressed here are his own. Follow James on Twitter @DrJJoyner.


  1. Mark says:

    It certainly would be a political earthquake as large as Speaker Foley losing his seat in 1994 to Neathercutt.

  2. dw says:

    And coincidently, Nethercutt looks to be on his way to defeat in the WA Senate race… and his former seat has an outside chance of flipped back to the Dems.