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Research 2000 for Daily Kos. 10/22-24. Likely voters. MoE 4% (No trend lines)

McCain (R) 50
Obama (D) 41

South Dakota was a 22 percent Bush victory in 2004:

Yet here we are this year, looking at a 9-point deficit. McCain is at 50 percent, and he'll likely take the state's three electoral votes. But Obama has radically transformed the state of that state -- and has pushed South Dakota closer to "purple" status.

Meanwhile, Sen. Tim Johnson wins 57-35, winning even 28 percent of Republicans. Not that anyone thought this race was competitive, but Senate Republicans did enter the cycle hoping to be competitive in the state. Then Johnson had his stroke, which made him more difficult to attack. And Republicans put up their flesh-eating penis-enlarging zombie candidate, Steve Kirby, which turned this race into a farce. A hilarious farce. Kirby is long gone, as are the GOP's hopes to take this seat.

The Research 2000 South Dakota Poll was conducted from October 22 through October
24, 2008. A total of 600 likely voters who vote regularly in state elections were interviewed statewide by telephone.

Those interviewed were selected by the random variation of the last four digits of telephone numbers. A cross-section of exchanges was utilized in order to ensure an accurate reflection of the state. Quotas were assigned to reflect the voter registration of distribution by county.

The margin for error, according to standards customarily used by statisticians, is no more than plus or minus 4% percentage points. This means that there is a 95 percent probability that the "true" figure would fall within that range if the entire population were sampled. The margin for error is higher for any subgroup, such as for gender or party affiliation.


Men                  288 (48%)
Women                312 (52%)

Democrats            241 (40%)
Republicans          282 (47%)
Other                 77 (13%)

18-29                102 (17%)
30-44                192 (32%)
45-59                181 (30%)
60+                  125 (21%)

QUESTION: As you may know ballot Measure 11 will be on the ballot in two weeks to enact a new law to make abortions in the state illegal. The law would have exceptions in cases resulting from rape or incest that have been reported to law enforcement authorities and to save the life or health of a woman when there is a serious risk of permanent damage to one or more of her major bodily organs as a result of the pregnancy.

If you were voting today would you vote YES meaning the law would take effect OR would you vote NO meaning the law will not take effect?

                   STRONG                              STRONG      
                   YES         YES         NO          NO          UNDECIDED  

ALL                 24%         18%         16%         28%         14%
MEN                 25%         21%         15%         26%         13%
WOMEN               23%         15%         17%         30%         15%

DEMOCRATS           11%         11%         26%         39%         13%
REPUBLICANS         36%         25%          7%         18%         14%
OTHER               22%         16%         17%         31%         14%

18-29               23%         18%         16%         27%         16%
30-44               24%         18%         17%         29%         12%
45-59               26%         19%         14%         26%         15%
60+                 23%         17%         17%         30%         13%


QUESTION: Do you have a favorable or unfavorable opinion of Tim Johnson? (If favorable or unfavorable ask if it is very or not):

                 VERY FAV       FAV        UNFAV     VERY UNFAV    NO OPINION

ALL                 24%         37%         18%          9%         12%

                   FAV         UNFAV       NO OPINION

ALL                 61%         27%         12%

MEN                 58%         31%         11%
WOMEN               64%         23%         13%

DEMOCRATS           79%          8%         13%
REPUBLICANS         44%         46%         10%
INDEPENDENTS        66%         17%         17%

18-29               63%         25%         12%
30-44               59%         29%         12%
45-59               60%         28%         12%
60+                 61%         26%         13%

QUESTION: Do you have a favorable or unfavorable opinion of Joel Dykstra (If favorable or unfavorable ask if it is very or not):

                 VERY FAV       FAV        UNFAV     VERY UNFAV    NO OPINION

ALL                  8%         30%         31%         12%         19%

                   FAV         UNFAV       NO OPINION

ALL                 38%         43%         19%

MEN                 40%         42%         18%
WOMEN               36%         44%         20%

DEMOCRATS           19%         66%         15%
REPUBLICANS         56%         23%         21%
INDEPENDENTS        33%         46%         21%

18-29               36%         46%         18%
30-44               40%         40%         20%
45-59               39%         42%         19%
60+                 37%         44%         19%

QUESTION: If the election for U.S. Senate were held today would you vote for Tim Johnson the Democrat or Joel Dykstra the Republican?

                   JOHNSON     DYKSTRA     UNDECIDED  

ALL                 57%         35%          8%

MEN                 56%         37%          7%
WOMEN               58%         33%          9%

DEMOCRATS           87%          5%          8%
REPUBLICANS         28%         63%          9%
INDEPENDENTS        69%         26%          5%

18-29               60%         31%          9%
30-44               56%         38%          6%
45-59               55%         37%          8%
60+                 58%         34%          8%

QUESTION: If the election for President were held today would you vote for the Democratic ticket of Barack Obama and Joe Biden the Republican ticket of John McCain and Sarah Palin or another candidate?

                   MCCAIN      OBAMA       OTHER       UNDECIDED  

ALL                 50%         41%          3%          6%
MEN                 52%         39%          4%          5%        
WOMEN               48%         43%          2%          7%

DEMOCRATS           10%         82%          2%          6%
REPUBLICANS         85%          6%          3%          6%
OTHER               47%         43%          5%          5%

18-29               47%         44%          3%          6%
30-44               53%         38%          4%          5%
45-59               51%         40%          3%          6%
60+                 49%         42%          2%          7%

Originally posted to Daily Kos on Sat Oct 25, 2008 at 11:50 AM PDT.

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Comment Preferences

  •  interesting (6+ / 0-)

    18-29 year old actually favoring McCain in South Dakota.  That's probably the only reason why he's ahead.

  •  I'd love to see McCain forced to campaign (4+ / 0-)

    in South Dakota over the next few days...

    Once in a while you get shown the light in the strangest of places if you look at it right.

    by darthstar on Sat Oct 25, 2008 at 11:52:32 AM PDT

  •  When was the last time it was this close (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    ILDem, dotalbon, TDreamer

    in SD at this stage?  I always got the impression that if a Repub is in single digits here, he's toast.

    "No way, no how, no McCain." Hillary Clinton, 8-27-08

    by Christian Dem in NC on Sat Oct 25, 2008 at 11:52:33 AM PDT

    •  McCain is Toast (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      Clinton (-)3.5% both elections and Carter (-)1.5% in '76. The undecideds will break SD to a low single digit margin with the distinct possibility of the McCain/Palin campaign delivering SD(and others) with more mind blowing stoopid over the last week.

      McCain-Palin: A campaign beyond bad

      "Wake up Democrat"

      by ILDem on Sat Oct 25, 2008 at 12:52:54 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Damn (5+ / 0-)

    Because like they say, "As goes South Dakota, so goes the nation!"

  •  Very impressive. (8+ / 0-)

    It's a bluer world everyday.

    I've got Obama winning by 17% in Nevada with current, actual banked votes.

  •  So I guess Obama's campaigning (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    dotalbon, IngeniousGirl

    is good for about a 6-7% swing in a state, seeing as how North Dakota is tied at 45 and went a little bit more strongly for Bush in 2004.

    •  Why did they focus on ND? (0+ / 0-)

      SD is always a few points better for a Democratic presidential candidate than ND.

      Cost? Media market overlap? I'd like to hear Plouffe's explanation.

      "Wake up Democrat"

      by ILDem on Sat Oct 25, 2008 at 12:59:01 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Because The Trendline In SD Is Far Worse.... (0+ / 0-)

        ....for Dems.  The no-tax, pro-predatory lending culture there is turning previous Democratic towns and cities into GOP strongholds.  By contrast, North Dakota is heavily reliant on a robust sugar economy, particularly in the eastern side of the state, and that flies in the face of Republican trade policy.  With that in mind, North Dakota is probably more winnable than South Dakota, at least this cycle.

      •  good point (0+ / 0-)

        However, there's really no market overlap for North Dakota and South Dakota.  Sioux Falls overlaps SW Minnesota and NW Iowa.  Most of North Dakota's overlap is with NW Minnesota.  There isn't much SD-ND media market overlap.

  •  Tim Johnson's romp should help (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    wishingwell, JoeW, IngeniousGirl, TDreamer

    Unlike 2002, his reelection will NOT be close...

    "Polls are like crack, political activists know they're bad for them but they read them anyways."-Unknown

    by skywaker9 on Sat Oct 25, 2008 at 11:53:49 AM PDT

  •  this also confirms an Argus Leader poll (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    from earlier in the month showing only a 7% McCain lead.

  •  We don't really need SD, but... (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    the relatively close race is more of an indicator of trends nationwide....If we're relatively close in SD, we're in a great position.

    It's like the Scott McClellan endorsement.  Does it do anything for us? No. BUT it does demonstrate the good position we're in.

  •  How is Senator Johnson these days? (0+ / 0-)

    How he is doing? How the hell did he keep a campaign schedule a year after almost dying?

    I'll see your Joe the Plumber and raise you one Powell the General!

    by OReillysNightmare on Sat Oct 25, 2008 at 11:56:15 AM PDT

    •  he's doing fine (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      His speech is still impaired as a result of his stroke-like ailment, but his thinking is sharp.  Johnson made campaign stops throughout the state while his Republican opponent was whining about Johnson not wanting to debate, and insinuating that Johnson wasn't well enough to hold office.  Meanwhile, his opponent made no campaign stops, while Johnson made a tour through the state.

      Also, even though Johnson had a life-threatening illness, he has still been present for more Senate votes than McCain.  'Nuff said.

  •  GOP "strategist" on Shuster's show right now (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    askew, FleetAdmiralJ, beltane

    basically saying that McCain's tax-policy talk isn't working because 90% of Americans hate bush and they're going to support anyone who isn't in bush's party.  Way to stay on message for your candidate, Tyler...

    Once in a while you get shown the light in the strangest of places if you look at it right.

    by darthstar on Sat Oct 25, 2008 at 11:56:34 AM PDT

  •  Diggin those swoopy animations, man. (0+ / 0-)

    If we cruise into next weekend with polls about where they are, how much do you think the Oh-Obama-is-winning-so-I-dont-have-to-vote will be, compared to the McCain-has-lost-so-I'm-not-going-to-bother-to-vote vote on the other side?

  •  You say flesh-eating zombie like it's a bad thing (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    kos, wishingwell, Dave1955

    We are coming up on Halloween, after all.

    Republicans are probably hoping for a ghoul boost.

    Silence is not an effective reply to propaganda.

    by fleisch on Sat Oct 25, 2008 at 11:57:18 AM PDT

  •  Not too soon to plan for 2010 and 2012. This (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    year's election is only the beginning.

    "Hatred paralyzes life; love releases it. Hatred confuses life; love harmonizes it. Hatred darkens life; love illuminates it." ML King

    by TheWesternSun on Sat Oct 25, 2008 at 11:58:35 AM PDT

  •  Nice :D Purple SD better than a Red one (0+ / 0-)


    "We were warriors then, and our tribe was strong like a river" - Hunter S Thompson

    by GonzoLegend on Sat Oct 25, 2008 at 12:00:01 PM PDT

  •  It will be interesting to see how much... (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    the Obama GOTV effort changes the actual outcome.

    My guess is on average, a couple of points, but what if it's five?

    And what if it's more?


    -7.88 -8,77 Just a wine sipping, brie eating, $6 coffee drinking, Prius driving, over educated, liberal, white, activist, male New Englander for Barack Obama.

    by EquationDoc on Sat Oct 25, 2008 at 12:02:13 PM PDT

  •  Obama 6 McCain 1 (0+ / 0-)

    Obama has made 6 campaign appearances in South Dakota since Jan 07.

    McCain has made 1.

    McCain has made 0 appearances in:

    North Dakota

    Here we are now Entertain us I feel stupid and contagious

    by Scarce on Sat Oct 25, 2008 at 12:03:03 PM PDT

  •  OT: have you seen this yet? (0+ / 0-)


    No day but today--Obama '08

    by someotherguy86 on Sat Oct 25, 2008 at 12:04:29 PM PDT

  •  For those who live in the Dakotas, what (2+ / 0-)

    are the differences that account for a closer race in North Dakota as opposed to South Dakota?  I thought South Dakota had more urban areas compared to North Dakota--so it seems like it would be a closer race in South Dakota.  

    "Somewhere in Texas a village is missing its idiot."

    by Gramarye on Sat Oct 25, 2008 at 12:04:51 PM PDT

    •  Well, the history geek in me... (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      mgmonklewis, Gramarye

      ...looks to the precedent of the Progressive Era, when South Dakota was pretty Progressive (went for TR in 1912), but in North Dakota...whoo!  The Nonpartisal League dominated both mainstream political parties in the 1910s.  As in Minnesota and its DFL, where the powerfully progressive Farmer-Labor party eventually merged with the Ds, in North Dakota, the same happened with the NPL.  In fact, the official name there is the Democratic-NPL Party.

      And yeah, as similar as ND is to us, they're also similar to Montana, probably in some ways we are not.


      "No, no, we are not satisfied, and we will not be satisfied until justice rolls down like waters and righteousness like a mighty stream." --MLK

      by Progressive Witness on Sat Oct 25, 2008 at 12:18:29 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  I can't quite figure it out myself (0+ / 0-)

      There must be a subtle demographic difference that I don't understand.  Also, I think there's a bit more progressive radio in North Dakota, with Ed Schultz on in their eastern population centers, while South Dakota doesn't have any progressive radio (Ed might be on in Rapid City, but that's about it).  

      Also, I'm not sure how it is in North Dakota, but the farther west you go in South Dakota, the more people vote like Wyoming.  Since our second-largest population center (Rapid City/Black Hills region) is next to Wyoming and generally has that kind of mind-set, it's like a big anchor dragging down Democrats in the rest of the state (that region tends to go 60%-70% Republican).  Granted, there are a lot of strong liberals and Democrats West River, but they're really outnumbered.  Combine that with no similar Democratic stronghold (the reservations are overwhelmingly Democratic, but less populated than the Rapid City region), and it skews an otherwise mildly Republican state into (usually) hardcore Republican.

      I might be misreading that, but that's my take.  Still, I can't understand the discrepancy between ND and SD, since I doubt we're all that different.  

      I have a feeling that if Democrats would start paying attention to us, it would pay dividends.  Retail politics work really well here, but if nobody shows up or builds a ground game...

  •  I don't know, I'm in SD and I'd be (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    very surprised if Obama won. Just because it seems to vote Repubican for President. However, it's a little hard to judge, because people here really don't like to discuss politics. I have been wearing my Obama pins since Pre-primary Iowa days and have had less than a dozen people comment on them or strike up a conversation. I even cut out that WaPo tax policy comparison chart and pinned it on my coat! People probably thought I was crazy, but noone even asked me about it. I live near Brookings and volunteered at the Obama office during the primary, but don't see any signs of any Democratic activity now. I do however drive by a Republican headquarters every day and they have a millions signs outside on the makes me want to stand across the street and picket them.

  •  Difference between South Dakota and North Dakota (0+ / 0-)

    You know, I have to wonder why North Dakota seems to be more competitive this year than South Dakota. There has only been limited polling, so I guess we'll see what the final result is, but while quite a few polls have shown Obama tied or ahead in North Dakota, no poll since February has shown Obama within 6 points of McCain in South Dakota.

    Why I find this interesting is South Dakota is usually a little closer for Democrats in Presidential elections. What has caused North Dakota to look 10 points better for Obama.

    I know not all Dakotas are created alike, but these are very similar states. It seems whatever it is that is working in North Dakota, and to a lesser extent Montana, would work in South Dakota.

    Is it just spillover advertising from Minnesota and Montana? Seems like it has to be more than that.

  •  Airborne assault (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    Team McCain must be looking at the Obama/Biden campaign as some kind of political Airborne Division: able to drop behind enemy lines and wreak havoc on areas assumed to be safe.

  •  good Flash work! (0+ / 0-)

    This is probably irrelevant to most of the site but, as a semi-professional Flash Actionscripter I want to shout out to whoever is coding the map widget.

    Really good work!

    The best weapon of a dictatorship is secrecy, but the best weapon of a democracy should be the weapon of openness. - Niels Bohr

    by ezrider2012 on Sat Oct 25, 2008 at 12:09:30 PM PDT

  •  Barack & Bill Run Up The Hill (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    christomento, Stonegate

    To Fetch A Pail Of Voters

    Wednesday in Orlando.

    The reason the Republicans found Joe the Plumber was to find someone hanging around a toilet other than Larry Craig - James Carville

    by Detroit Mark on Sat Oct 25, 2008 at 12:11:00 PM PDT

  •  Did Cindy do the topless thing (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    maizenblue, timbuck, Stonegate

    her loving hubby offered to those bikers in South Dakota?  Dancing in the Buffalo Chip contest?

    If she didn't, that would hurt Johnny's credibility and cost him support.

    If she did, that would hurt Johnny's credibility and cost him support.

    In a time of universal deceit, telling the truth becomes a revolutionary act.
    -- George Orwell

    by USexpat Ukraine on Sat Oct 25, 2008 at 12:11:10 PM PDT

  •  SD was somewhat competetive in 1988, 1992, and (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    1. Dukakis and Clinton came within 5-7% of winning there.
  •  The Blue slide to watch for in South Dakota... (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    mgmonklewis, longtimewatcher the State Senate.  None of the legislators and other party folk I've talked to think Barack could seriously carry South Dakota, but a lot of them believe his presence on the ballot will motivate increased Democratic turnout regardless, and with a current 20-15 split in the State Senate (up from 25-10 two years ago), if we can throw in enough extra Democratic votes to flip three Senate seats, we'll be in the majority.  Should Stephanie Herseth-Sandlin seek to succeed the term-limited Mike Rounds as Governor in 2010--and there's much speculation that she might--she would at least have one friendly house in the Lege.

    We've been in the wilderness for a long, long time out here.  But that could be starting to change.


    "No, no, we are not satisfied, and we will not be satisfied until justice rolls down like waters and righteousness like a mighty stream." --MLK

    by Progressive Witness on Sat Oct 25, 2008 at 12:12:13 PM PDT

  •  I miss Steve Kirby. (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    He was the most hilarious candidate I've ever seen.

    Pragmatic progressivism is the future.

    by Pragmaticus on Sat Oct 25, 2008 at 12:13:34 PM PDT

  •  I'm not sure how excited we should be (0+ / 0-)

    I doubt that SD will stay 'purple' for long. I suspect this is just because of the abysmal performance of the republican nominee. had this been a 'better' candidate, SD might well be solidly red.

  •  Palin snipettes from the trail today: (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    beltane, timbuck

    --Palin told Iowans that under Obama's "big government agenda," their income, property and investments would be "shared with everybody else."

    --With audience members shouting "socialist!" throughout her speech, the Alaska governor said that time is running out for Americans to realize the danger of a having a Democrat in the White House.

    --"Your state is filled with good, hard-working people all loving the outdoors," she said, "and it was nice and crisp getting off the airplane and coming into the -- it reminded me a lot of Alaska so I put my warm jacket on, and it is my own jacket. It doesn't belong to anybody else. My own jacket, for once, Alaska." ((WTF???))

    One Country, One Vote Barack Obama

    by ccmask on Sat Oct 25, 2008 at 12:15:04 PM PDT

  •  Forgot a new Obama ad: (0+ / 0-)

    One Country, One Vote Barack Obama

    by ccmask on Sat Oct 25, 2008 at 12:16:44 PM PDT

  •  AP Reporting Palin Pipeline bidding scandal (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    Dulce bellum inexpertis [War is sweet only to those who have no experience of it].

    by Fatherflot on Sat Oct 25, 2008 at 12:16:48 PM PDT

  •  Blue reservations (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    notice that the blue counties in South Dakota are Indian Reservations where we are 9% of the total population.

  •  Any chance of campaign swing through MT, ND, SD? (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    If not by Obama, then by Biden or Michelle? I realize it's icing on the cake, but if they could hit these 3 states in one day, when they probably haven't seen presidential campaigning in their state this late for decades, if ever, it might just swing things, or make it close enough to really demoralize Republicans.

    •  Every state is important (0+ / 0-)

      In my opinion, it's always good to make a push in every state.  That way, if another state you counted on doesn't pan out, there's the possibility of another one unexpectedly flipping in your direction.  It's unlikely to happen, but why take the chance?  If McCain and the Repubs cheated like they did in Florida 2000, and won by less than 3 electoral votes, wouldn't we be kicking ourselves if we didn't make a stronger push in Montana, North Dakota, and South Dakota?

  •  Women could still tip SD (0+ / 0-)

    for O.
    They're 48% and 7% undecided.


    As Kos says we have to destroy the current extremist Republican Party so that a more reasonable opposition emerges. We can only do it by actually voting.

    I just send my absentee ballot today as I will be traveling over the coming weeks. One more vote for Barack Obama and future congresswomen Kay Barnes of Kansas City. Please vote vote vote. Vote now if you anticipate problems on the 4th.    

  •  Dude! (0+ / 0-)

    The Hill article is awesome! Reading it the first time. This guy Kirby epitomizes the modern GOP - the party for people ready to make money off corpses, Blackwater, Halliburton-KBR and now Collagensis

    You can't call yourself a maverick when all you've ever been is a sidekick

    by freespeech on Sat Oct 25, 2008 at 12:49:18 PM PDT

  •  New Senate ratigns (0+ / 0-)

    Campaign Diaries' new Senate ratings now have 6 seats lean Democratic - as the map continues to shift towards the blue team!

  •  This is why (0+ / 0-)

    the 50-state strategy Howard Dean pushed is so important. We may not be competitive this cycle, but a generation from now? We'll have a chance. With the aid of the Obama campaign this election cycle, and hopefully an equally inspiring effort next cycle we may see some of these states turn.

    I normally hate this horse race, sports culture type stuff, so I'll just add it's more important than just winning. We need to get past the politics of bigotry, hate and negativity. So many people vote against their own interests, it's appalling. Maybe within my lifetime we'll see America progress beyond the pettiness and divisive politics the GOP practice.

    Some say we need a third party. I wish we had a second party. -- Jim Hightower

    by joe m on Sat Oct 25, 2008 at 01:17:51 PM PDT

  •  I like to see Arizona polled (0+ / 0-)

    and Georgia will soon move from "leaning Republican" into the yellow toss up column at

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