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March 21, 2013 10:05 PM

Political Poll: Republicans Are Divided

Sioux Falls, SD

South Dakota might be next on the list of states where Republicans have a bruising Senate primary.

It's still more than a year away, but tonight we get a look at the first independent polling numbers. And with only one announced candidate so far, there's a lot of speculation of what's going to happen in 2014.

According to this poll conducted by Public Policy Polling, the 2014 campaign is up in the air.

Former South Dakota Governor Mike Rounds and Congresswoman Kristi Noem are closely locked in a hypothetical primary contest for the Senate seat, with Rounds leading 43 percent to 39 percent.

Among GOP voters, Noem has a 71 percent favorable rating compared to an 18 percent unfavorable rating, which is slightly better than Rounds who has a 67 percent favorable rating.

Among Democratic voters, former Congresswoman Stephanie Herseth Sandlin is the strong favorite to be their candidate if Senator Tim Johnson decides not to run for re-election. 

In another hypothetical primary race; 68 percent say they would vote for Herseth Sandlin over U.S. Attorney Brendan Johnson, if he decides to run. Johnson only picked up 16 percent.

According to Public Policy Polling, if Senator Tim Johnson does retire, given Herseth Sandlin's popularity, the potential for a highly divisive GOP primary could potentially give Democrats an opportunity to hold on to the Senate seat.

Look at these results. If the general election were held today, a race between Stephanie Herseth Sandlin and Kristi Noem would be too close to call.

If the race was between Herseth Sandlin and Rounds, Rounds would win 49 percent to 44 percent.

This poll was conducted by phone on March 18th and 19th of this week. It has a margin of error of plus or minus 4%.

One interesting point, according to this poll Rounds wins every scenario against every challenger.

If you'd like to look at all the results, click here

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