The Cook political report (Subscription required) recently updates their baseline analysis for several states including South Dakota. And what they had to say shouldn’t come to any shock for SDWC readers.
Because Congresswoman Noem is not going anywhere anytime soon, and is ranked as Solid Republican:
SD-AL: Kristi Noem (R) – Entire state
Solid Republican. After skilled Blue Dog Democrat Stephanie Herseth Sandlin held this seat for six years, Republicans finally caught the break they needed in 2010 when Noem, a state representative with farm roots and appeal, capitalized on a great GOP year to beat Herseth Sandlin 48 percent to 46 percent. Noem wasn’t just an ideal image comparison for Republicans. She developed into a serious and aggressive candidate who proved adept at staying on the offensive, hitting Herseth Sandlin on support from EMILY’s List and her husband’s lobbying role. In a year like 2010, any ties to the inner dealings of Washington were toxic, especially in a small town state like South Dakota.
Democrat Matt Varilek, an energetic 37 year-old former aide to Sen. Tim Johnson, sought to turn Noem’s record on ag issues into the silver bullet he needed to beat Noem in a reliably GOP state. Varilek raised a very respectable $983,000, and earned strong reviews on the stump. But Noem wasn’t about to be caught napping: she raised $2.8 million, contested Democrats’ allegations on her committee attendance, and reclaimed the offense by hitting Varilek for earning environmental degrees abroad (Varilek won a scholarship to attend the University of Glasgow) and for advocating cap and trade in the past. Noem prevailed 57 percent to 43 percent.
In 2014, after passage of a new five-year Farm Bill, Noem finally found her footing, defeating 25-year Army veteran Corinna Robinson 67 percent to 33 percent.
Noem can likely hold this seat as long as she wants.
Read it all here. (Subscription required)