South Dakota voters overwhelmingly supported Republican candidates as they swept to victory in all of the state constitutional office races, including the governor’s race. On a national level, Blue Dog Democratic candidate Stephanie Herseth Sandlin lost her third-term bid for the state’s lone seat in the U.S. House of Representatives to newcomer Republican Kristi Noem. In the past, Herseth Sandlin has won her elections by overwhelming majorities.
Despite Herseth Sandlin’s vote against health care reform, Noem successfully tied her opponent to the policies of House Speaker Nancy Pelosi. That sealed Herseth Sandlin’s defeat, particularly in the counties west of the Missouri River. Republican U.S. Senator John Thune, who is considered a contender for a 2012 run for president, was unopposed.