A political expert says Thune's decision could have a major impact on the people of South Dakota. John Thune is currently considered an underdog in the 2012 race for the White House, primarily because he lacks name recognition in some key states. However, if he chooses to run, all of South Dakota could follow into the national limelight.
Senator Thune burst onto the political scene with his 1996 election to the U.S. House. Now, political experts are curious to see whether he'll seek a Presidential career, and say if he does, his home state will be thrust onto the national stage.
"It gives the state an opportunity to sort of show of its attributes and put it in the best light," Jennifer Duffy said.
However, Duffy of the Cook Political Report, an online newsletter that keeps a non-partisan watch on Washington, says that doesn't necessarily equal an economic boom for South Dakota. She says a Thune Presidential campaign could also have drawbacks for the state.
"It will take a little bit of his time away from South Dakota, which is not necessarily a good thing when the delegation is so small and you have a new Representative in Congress. She's a freshman, albeit a freshman in the majority which helps," Duffy said.
Duffy says that balancing act is certainly weighing on Thune's mind as he contemplates his political future. But she also notes that no matter his decision, the political saga won't end there.
"If by chance he decides not to run this time, I don't think we can necessarily take the possibility of 2016 off the table for Thune," Duffy said.
Another side effect noted by Duffy is that if Thune does run for the Oval Office, the national media will likely tie him to challenges we currently face here in South Dakota, and that coverage is not always kind to candidates or their home states.