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Poll: Rounds holds lead over Weiland in US Senate race, Pressler pulls from both

Former Republican South Dakota Gov. Mike Rounds leads Democratic challenger Rick Weiland by nearly 13 points in the U.S. Senate race in the Nielson Brothers Polling/Northern Plains News poll conducted in late July.

While 42.9 percent answered they would vote for Mike Rounds, 30.2 percent said they would vote for Rick Weiland.

Independents Larry Pressler and Gordon Howie polled at 14.2 percent and 4.1 percent, respectively, with 8.6 percent “undecided.”

Nielson Brothers Polling polled South Dakota likely voters from July 23-28. The poll asked respondents to indicate on their phone dial pad their answer to the survey question: “If the election were held today would you vote for Republican Mike Rounds, Democrat Rick Weiland, Independent Gordon Howie or Independent Larry Pressler?”

With 578 respondents, the margin of error for this question is 4.04 percent.

Nielson Brothers Polling is an independent polling company in Sioux Falls. Northern Plains News is an online news and distribution service in Harrisburg. The NBP/ NPN poll also asked respondents about the favorability ratings of the U.S. Senate candidates.

Probably the biggest question the poll answers is who is former Republican U.S. Sen. Pressler hurting the most — Rounds or Weiland. According to NBP partner and pollster Paul Nielson’s reading of the cross tabulations, “Larry Pressler is taking significant support from both major parties with slightly more Democratic support.”

Overall, Weiland had a 35.4 percent “favorable” response, 28.7 “unfavorable,” and 22 percent responded that they did not know the name, with the remainder undecided. The margin of error on this question is 4.0 percent.

Rounds and Pressler both had higher favorables and unfavorables than Weiland. Rounds had a 44.3 percent “favorable” response, 40.1 percent “unfavorable” and 10.9 percent “undecided.” Only 4.7 percent had not heard of Rounds.

Pressler had a 38.5 percent “favorable” response, 35.2 percent “unfavorable” and 16.4 percent “undecided.” Pressler’s “did not know” response was between Weiland’s and Rounds’ at 9.9 percent.

NBP did not measure Independent candidate Gordon Howie’s favorability ratings.