No Red State Dem Is Safe: SD Poll Herseth Sandlin

A new Public Policy Polling survey finds Rep. Stephanie Herseth Sandlin (D-SD) “looking at her toughest fight for reelection since 2004 next year despite the fact that she herself is pretty popular.”

Herseth Sandlin leads Secretary of State Chris Nelson (R), 46% to 39%, “but that’s a close margin given that Nelson is an unknown to 59% of voters in the state.”

Analysis: “Herseth Sandlin’s standing is a good microcosm of the difficulties Democrats face this year in Republican areas. Even though she is personally popular and did vote against the health care bill, she still only has a single digit lead against a relatively unknown opponent.”

49% of South Dakota voters approve of the job she’s doing to 38% disapproving. Perhaps because of her health care vote Herseth Sandlin’s standing with Democratic voters is a little weaker than might be expected- a 63/24 approval. But with Republicans her spread is 42/47, considerably better than what most Democratic members of Congress get across party lines.

When it comes to her reelection next year it appears Herseth Sandlin will have a competitive challenge from Secretary of State Chris Nelson. She leads him at this point by a 46-39 margin, but that’s a close margin given that Nelson is an unknown to 59% of voters in the state. Among voters who do know Nelson 29% have a favorable opinion of him to 12% unfavorable and he leads Herseth Sandlin 49-43. So this race could tighten up as he becomes better known. Herseth Sandlin leads Nelson 76-11 with Democrats and 47-29 with independents and also holds him to a 62-24 advantage with Republicans. In a strongly GOP tilted state she needs every one of those independent and Republican votes that she can get.

Keep pressure on every redstate Dem!