Despite Primary, Rounds Remains Favorite in South Dakota

by Stuart Rothenberg July 15, 2013 · 11:42 AM EDT

State Sen. Larry Rhoden’s formal entry into the South Dakota GOP Senate race doesn’t fundamentally change the Republican contest. Former Gov. Mike Rounds remains the party’s favorite for the nomination and for the general election.

Some conservatives are still looking for an alternative to Rounds, whom they regard as insufficiently conservative. But Rhoden, who comes from the western part of the state and has spent more than a decade in the Legislature, isn’t seen as a “movement conservative.” And while Rhoden served as state Senate majority whip, he isn’t regarded as Rounds’ political equal.

The likely Democratic nominee, Rick Weiland, so far has not caught fire and appears to be a clear underdog in the 2014 contest.

For local coverage on the race, see reporter David Montgomery’s recent posts here, here and here (via South Dakota Politics in Stereo).