Speed Reads

2014 midterms

Poll: Republican way ahead in South Dakota Senate race

Former South Dakota Gov. Mike Rounds (R) remains on track to pick up the state's open U.S. Senate seat, in the new poll from Monmouth University.

Rounds has 45 percent support, comfortably ahead of Democratic candidate Rick Weiland at 31 percent. Former Republican Sen. Larry Pressler, who is now running again as a centrist independent, has 19 percent. The poll also found that in a two-way race, Rounds would still lead Weiland at 48 percent to 40 percent. The survey of likely voters was conducted from Oct. 24 to 27, and has a margin of error of plus or minus 4.7 percentage points.

The seat is currently held by Democratic Sen. Tim Johnson, who is retiring after three terms, in what has looked for most of this cycle like an easy gain for Republicans.

Weiland, a former FEMA official, has now accused national Democrats of sabotaging him and trying to help Pressler, who supported President Obama in both 2008 and 2012.

"There was some buzz earlier in the month that South Dakota’s Senate seat may be back on the toss-up board. It looks like that was a false alarm," writes polling director Patrick Murray.