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Poll: Knudson, Munsterman surge, Daugaard still leads in gubernatorial race

Republican gubernatorial candidate Dave Knudson's popularity among South Dakota's voters is trending up, at least compared to the Democratic contender Scott Heidepriem. Meanwhile, Lieutenant Gov. Dennis Daugaard has seen his poll numbers dip slightly in the last month.

According to the latest Rasmussen Reports telephone survey of likely state voters, Knudson has 49 percent support compared to Heidepriem's 34 percent. Ten percent favor another candidate, and six percent are undecided.

It is a dramatic change in only a month. In late April, Knudson and Heidepriem were tied at 41 percent apiece. Heidepriem held small leads over Knudson in February and March, but the state's Senate majority leader has been steadily gaining ground. The latest figures mark Knudson's best showing to date.

Meanwhile, Daugaard leads Heidepriem 51 to 36 percent. Seven percent like some other candidate, and six percent are undecided. Last month, Daugaard's lead over Heidepriem was 53 to 33 percent.

Three other Republican candidates don't fare nearly as well. Heidepriem, the only major Democrat in the race, leads Sen. Gordon Howie 49 to 36 percent and tops Scott Munsterman, a chiropractor and former mayor, 46 to 38 percent. The Democrat holds a 47 to 34 percent lead over rancher Ken Knuppe.

The survey of 500 voters was conducted on May 26 by Rasmussen Reports. The margin of sampling error is +/-4.5 percentage points with a 95% level of confidence.

Republicans will pick their gubernatorial nominee in a June 8 primary.


HED: By the numbers

BODY: According to Rasmussen Reports:

- Sixty-one percent of South Dakota voters favor repeal of the national health care plan, while 35 percent are opposed. This includes 49% who Strongly Favor repeal and 26% who Strongly Oppose it. This is in line with voter sentiments nationally.

- Twenty-six percent have a Very Favorable opinion of gubernatorial candidate Dennis Daugaard, while eight percent view him Very Unfavorably. For Dave Knudson, Very Favorables are 11 percent and Very Unfavorables are five percent. Gordon Howie is seen Very Favorably by 13 percent and Very Unfavorably by 29 percent. Eight percent hold a Very Favorable view of Scott Munsterman, and nine percent view him Very Unfavorably. Ken Knuppe has Very Favorables of two percent and Very Unfavorables of 11%.

- Sixty-two percent of South Dakota voters favor an immigration law like Arizona's in their state, slightly higher than support nationally. Seventy-two percent support the chief requirement of the Arizona bill that police officers check the immigration status of anyone stopped for a traffic violation or some other kind of violation if the officer suspects the person is an illegal immigrant.

- Sixty-one percent of the state's voters approve of the job being done by current Gov. Mike Rounds. Thirty-seven percent disapprove of Rounds' performance.


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