Public Policy Polling’s newest South Dakota survey continues to find Mike Rounds stuck under 40%. Right now 38% of voters say they intend to vote for him to 28% for Rick Weiland, 15% for Larry Pressler, and 4% for Gordon Howie. There are several encouraging findings for Weiland within the poll results:
-Most of Rounds’ early lead is based on having higher name recognition than Weiland, and Weiland actually has the advantage among voters who have heard of him. 82% of voters are familiar with Rounds compared to 67% for Weiland, but among the group that has heard of Weiland he leads 38/36. That bodes well for his prospects as he becomes better known.
-Weiland (+6) has a higher net favorability rating than Rounds (even). 36% of voters see him favorably to only 30% who have a negative opinion of him. Meanwhile voters are evenly divided on Rounds with 41% rating him positively and 41% with an unfavorable view.
-On several issues that will be key in this race, voters side with Weiland’s view over Rounds’ by a wide margin. After being read a description of each candidate’s views on Medicare, South Dakotans say they agree more with Weiland’s position by a 15 point margin, 45/30. And when it comes to the Ryan budget 53% of voters say they side more with Weiland’s point of view, compared to only 29% who go with Rounds.
On both of the issues the independent voters who will be key to Weiland’s campaign overwhelmingly side with his perspective- 53/26 on the Medicare issue and 62/20 on the Ryan budget one.
PPP interviewed 745 South Dakota voters on April 30th and May 1st on behalf of People for Weiland. The poll’s margin of error is +/-3.6%. 49% of those surveyed were Republicans and 33% were Democrats (R+16), representing a more GOP leaning sample than the voter registration numbers in the state (45% Republicans and 35% Democrats for R+10).