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Poll Shows Herseth Sandlin Would Win

January 30, 2012, 9:52 PM by Don Jorgensen

Poll Shows Herseth Sandlin Would Win
SIOUX FALLS, SD - Former Congresswoman Stephanie Herseth Sandlin has already said she's not going to run for South Dakota's lone seat in the U.S. House.

But according to one poll taken in December, she would have won, taking out the woman who defeated her two years ago. 

Before her defeat in 2010, Herseth Sandlin always had a favorable rating with South Dakota voters. Now a poll conducted by the Democrat Congressional Campaign Committee shows strong numbers again.

According to that poll, If the general election for U.S. House were held today, Republican Congresswoman Kristi Noem would get 43 percent of the vote, while Herseth Sandlin would capture 53 percent. 

"I think the one thing is very clear is voters of South Dakota have some buyer's remorse from the last election," South Dakota Democratic Party Chairman Ben Nesselhuf said.

Nesselhuf says even though Herseth Sandlin isn't running, the poll shows Noem could be vulnerable. 

"If the election is going to be about her and her voting record, it's not going to bode well for her," Nesselhuf said.

We tried contacting the Republican Party to get reaction to the poll. We never got a call back. But in a January 21 interview, the Republican Party Executive Director Tony Post said even though Herseth Sandlin is not running, it doesn't change the Congressional race.

"Stephanie Herseth Sandlin is very smart. If she thought she had a chance to beat Kristi Noem, I think she would have jumped into this race," Post said.

Two Democrats have already announced.  Minnehaha County Commissioner Jeff Barth and fellow Democrat Matt Varileck.  Nesselhuf says they weren't included in the poll because they don't have name recognition yet. 

"I think that whoever is the candidate, if they have the resources to get their message out and if this election is in fact about Noem and how she's behaved in Congress, I think she's in real trouble and these numbers bear that out," Nesselhuf said. 

We contacted Kristi Noem's campaign to get her reaction to the poll; she never commented.

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