SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (KELO) — There are almost as many undecided voters for the U.S. House race as there are voters who plan to vote for the Democrat in the U.S. Senate race, according to a new poll from KELOLAND News, Emerson College and The Hill.
The poll was conducted Oct. 19-21 among a sample of 1,500 voters very likely to vote on November 8. The poll has a margin of error of plus or minus 2.4 percentage points.
In the U.S. Senate race, incumbent Republican Sen. John Thune has 58% of the votes while Democratic challenger Brian Bengs has 27%. Thune has been serving in the Senate since 2005.
Libertarian candidate Tamara J. Lesnar has 5% of the vote.
In the House race, the number of undecided voters is at 24%, nearly the same percentage as the votes for Bengs in the U.S. Senate race.
One big difference between the two races is that there is no Democratic challenger in the U.S. House race.
Still, U.S. House Representative Dusty Johnson, R-SD, and Thune have similar voter percentages of support in their races.
Johnson has 59% of the vote while Libertarian candidate Collin Duprel has 16%.
Any of the candidates could gain as 24% of voters are undecided in the House race.
In the House, 27% of the Democrats said they planned to vote for Duprel while 33% said they planned to vote for Johnson. About 40% of the registered Democrats are undecided. Another 33% of registered Independents are undecided. Undecided Republicans total 13%.
While either candidate could receive some or all of those undecided votes, the undecided voters are at 24%, which is about 1 in 4 people.
But it would be unlikely for Duprel to catch Johnson even if all the undecided Democrats and Independents voted for him. Registered Republicans totaled 296,290 as of October 25 and outnumber Democrats by nearly 2 to 1 in the state.
As of October 25, the state had 144,813 Independent or no party affiliation voters, which is nearly as many registered Democrats, 151,341.
Some registered Republicans said they plan to vote for Duprel (7%) but 80% will vote for Johnson.
Registered Independents are split on Duprel and Johnson as 25% plan to vote for the Libertarian and 43% plan to vote for Johnson.
In the U.S. Senate race, Bengs has 66% of the planned votes from registered Democrats.
He’s also got 31% of the Independent votes. About 5% of registered Republicans plan to vote for Bengs.
Lesnar has 5% of the Democrat votes, 3% of the Republican votes and 9% of the Independent votes.
Registered Republicans plan to vote for Thune at an 85% clip while Thune will also pick up a planned 19% vote from Democrats and 39% from Independents.
View the full results from Emerson College online; look for the file under the Key Takeaways.