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Candidates Work To Appeal To Entire State

November 2, 2012, 6:18 PM by Erich Schaffhauser

Candidates Work To Appeal To Entire State

From the state's biggest city of Sioux Falls to voters in the tiny town of Reva in the northwest, the U.S House of Representatives candidates will need to appeal to a wide range of South Dakotans.

Political signs in people's yard are proof that Matt Varilek won't appeal to everyone. Neither will Kristi Noem. But what will reach the most voters?

"Charisma mostly, how they communicate with people," Matt Murray of Stratford said.

"Education is one of them, also what they plan on doing as far as taxes," Shelby Rhodes of New Underwood said.

Rhodes has west river roots, Murray east river. Candidates need appeal to everyone, people living in the city and those in the country. But at Northern State University in Aberdeen, a political science professor says it’s possible.

"What you'll do is you'll pick a number of issues that'll appeal to people regionally like the farm bill," Kenneth Blanchard said.

And show voters, Blanchard says, how you support those issues in a way favorable for the state. Blanchard says it's harder to appeal to everyone while running for a state office. But for a national one, most people share the common question of what you can bring back from Washington.

"The more open they are about everything it would be nice to know specifically about what they plan on doing rather than just general ideas," Rhodes said.

She may be out of luck there. Blanchard would expect to hear general statements from candidates trying to appeal to an entire state.

"The more specific you are, the more likely you are to lose one vote for every vote you gain. So, you'll talk about doing right for South Dakota and bringing back help for South Dakota," Blanchard said.

Blanchard says Noem needs to present herself as a competent public servant. Varilek needs to weaken Noem's position and present himself as a viable alternative.

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