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Rounds is the only choice in November

by Greg Belfrage

It appears I chose the wrong day to slip out for lunch with my dad.

I arrived back in the office to learn that former U.S. Senate candidate Annette Bosworth had turned herself in to authorities in Minnehaha County this morning to face charges of election fraud and perjury.

Moments later, news of Clayton Walker's arrest on similar charges was also breaking.

After a flurry of hallway conversations with coworkers about the latest developments, I settled in to my office to catch up on my email.

I was innocently sipping my soda as I came across the latest news release from the campaign of Democrat Rick Weiland. I follow most of his releases closely, as he has already launched a fairly aggressive campaign against Republican nominee Mike Rounds.

It's a bit surreal when you're reading a release and suddenly stumble on your own name.

I blinked and leaned forward to my computer screen, thinking that I could not possibly have seen what I thought I saw.

My eyes had not deceived me. There was my name, as well as a paraphrased comment I had made during this morning's show:

"And this morning, conservative KELO radio host Greg Belfrage reiterated this point on his show -- Howie enjoys wide support among Tea Party Republicans and Pressler still appeals to "old-school" GOP voters."

Here's the rest of the story...

I never asserted that Howie enjoys "wide support". I simply stated that Howie would appeal to some libertarians and conservative Republicans. And a recent poll showed Pressler enjoys some modest support from older Republicans.

My point was that Mike Rounds has his work cut out for him to insure these fringe candidates don't siphon support away from him and tip the vote in Weiland's favor.

I went on to say that I did not vote for Mike Rounds in yesterday's primary. However, barring any unforeseen circumstances, I will enthusiastically support Rounds in November's general election.

Rick Weiland is an incredibly personable and likable guy. He learned well during his days with Tom Daschle. Weiland knows how to run an effective grass roots campaign, even though he's never been able to translate it into a statewide win at the ballot box.

I like Weiland and enjoy my interviews with him.But I would never vote for him, especially for U.S. Senate.

The last thing America needs is another uber-left-winger in the Senate working to advance a destructive agenda for President Obama and Harry Reid.

Mike Rounds may not have been my first choice yesterday.

But as I look ahead to November, Rounds is not only the best choice... he's the only choice. The nation simply can't afford to send Rick Weiland to Washington.

You can read the entire Weiland release below.

Oh, and thanks to the Weiland campaign for listening to my show. I'm flattered.

Greg Belfrage @belfrageshow is heard 6am-9am on KELO 1320 AM and 107.9 FM. Greg can be contacted at greg.belfrage@mwcradio.com.

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The South Dakota GOP Senate primary last night served to underscore Mike Rounds' vulnerability. Consider the following:

Former two term governor, Mike Rounds, spent $2.5 million dollars to win just 55% of the vote, while his four unknown opponents spent less than $75,000 on television advertising and received 45%. This should hardly be reason for optimism in the Rounds' camp.

Despite Rounds egregiously high spending, he actually LOST ground on his favorable/unfavorable scores! In October, Rounds fav/unfav score was 42%/40%, but by early May, despite spending many hundreds of thousands of dollars on soft-positive 60 second ads, Rounds not only didn't move the dial forward, he slightly moved backwards -- his fav/unfav scores were 41%/41%. The folks who don't like him--half the electorate who can rate him -- are unmoved by his ads. And it's a truism in politics that an impression, once made, is not easily changed.

* One of Rounds' challenges is that he not only faces Rick Weiland in the general election, he also faces former three-term GOP U.S Senator Larry Pressler and former South Dakota GOP State Senator Gordon Howie, the latter two who certainly will draw tens of thousands of votes away from Rounds (GOP challengers to Rounds drew a combined 33,000 votes in the Senate primary yesterday). * If Weiland can get around 45 percent of the vote, a reasonable target for a Democrat in the state, and Pressler and Howie together get more than 10 percent, Rounds could wind up coming in second. -- Tom Lawrence, Prairie Perspective Blog April 11, 2014

* And this morning, conservative KELO radio host Greg Belfrage reiterated this point on his show -- Howie enjoys wide support among Tea Party Republicans and Pressler still appeals to "old-school" GOP voters.

* The May PPP poll showed that, despite the fact that Rounds had placed far more time on TV than Rick Weiland, he actually trailed Weiland by 2% among those respondents who could rate Weiland either favorably or unfavorably, which clearly indicates that Rounds lead (10%) was due entirely to his unsurprising advantage in name identification (67% for Weiland, 82% for Rounds). As Weiland gets better known--not difficult in a low-cost television state like South Dakota -- Rounds' lead will shrink, and then disappear.

This race remains what it has been from the start -- entirely winnable , the only question being whether Weiland will received the relatively modest amount of funding that he needs to make his case to the voters of South Dakota. If he does, it's clear that Weiland -- who is outworking Rounds every day -- could easily win.

Paid for by People for Rick Weiland

People for Rick Weiland
P.O. Box 1488
Sioux Falls, SD 57101