Press "Enter" to skip to content

Roll Call: Rounds Memo Says Pressler Dooms Weiland

Last updated on 2014.07.27

Never mind that RNC robocall; Team Rounds thinks they have the Senate race in the bag. Why else would they leak numbers to Roll Call showing that Pressler is sapping Weiland's Democratic support?

According to a Rounds campaign memo obtained by Roll Call, a mid-June internal poll of 500 likely voters found Pressler’s supporters were more than twice as likely to be Democrats as Republicans, 48 percent to 22 percent. Also in the survey, a hypothetical head-to-head race showed Rounds with 49 percent, Weiland with 24 percent and Pressler with 15 percent [Colin Diersing, "Quirky Ex-Senator Dashes Democrats' Hopes in South Dakota," Roll Call: At the Races, 2014.07.24].

Those campaign memos don't just leap off desks all by themselves.

Dick Wadhams, newly ensconced at SDGOP HQ instead of Rounds HQ, underscores the GOP's hopeful narrative:

Pressler “is a respected former senator … who’s trying to run on issues the Democratic candidate is running on,” said Dick Wadhams, a senior adviser to South Dakota Republicans, in an interview with CQ Roll Call [Diersing, 2014.07.24].

For maximum ridiculing effect, Wadhams should have gotten Diersing to write that Weiland is dashing Pressler's hopes.

Diersing lists Pressler's endorsements of Barack Obama and his positions on the Affordable Care Act, gay marriage, estate taxes, and immigration as part of Pressler's Democratic appeal. Add his play for Indian votes, and you have a reasonable case for Pressler appealing more to voters who would otherwise pick Democrat Weiland over conservative Rounds and worse conservative Gordon Howie. But just last March, another Roll Call writer (also calling Pressler "quirky") said Pressler could wield just as much wonder for conservative voters.

So let's dip that stick in the blogospheric oilpan to see if we can find some data to align with what Mike Rounds wants us to believe. I know you readers aren't all Democrats, but I know we have a larger than normal concentration of progressive/liberal/socialist thinkers here. Who's your pick for South Dakota's Senate seat this year? Is Weiland singing your love song? Is Pressler setting your quirky heartstrings a-quiver? Do you prefer Rounds's reedy paeans to big business and French women? Or is God calling you to hasten the apocalypse and send Gordon Howie to Washington? Vote now in the poll in the near-right sidebar, and let's see how Pressler's doing!


  1. jerry 2014.07.24

    As Rounds is a blind supporter of all things Israel in their war for the gas deposits off the coast of Gaza, maybe they are worried that some reporter from someplace else might ask a question about his position on that issue. Or maybe the out of state reporter may ask about the Bush Doctrine and how war crimes committed by Bush and Cheney match those being carried out by Israel.

  2. Curt 2014.07.24

    I have been predicting since the 'quirky former Senator' announced he was running for his old seat that he will - at some point during the campaign - demonstrate for all to witness that he is more than just 'quirky.' Given that some significant portion of his support comes from voters who lean to the Progressive side, that can only benefit our next outstanding Prairie Populist Senator - Rick Weiland.

  3. Tom Lawrence 2014.07.24

    These numbers were floated to me last week but I passed on a column, knowing they would soon be shared with SD's political chattering class. The GOP does a very good job of that while the D's seem unable to even attempt such a routine procedure.
    I have little reason to doubt them. Pressler, whom I have voted for and against over the years, drew a lot of Democratic support early in his career. Time magazine called him "that McGovern Republican" after he won in 1974.
    The race is quite a cross-section, with Gordon Howie on the far right, Mike Rounds on the right-center, Larry Pressler on center with a slight left edge and Rick Weiland on the left. Is there a path to victory for Pressler or Weiland? I would guess only if Rounds gets wrapped in the scandal and/or harms himself in a debate.

  4. caheidelberger Post author | 2014.07.24

    Tom, did those 1974 Pressler Dems stay solid for Pressler throughout his career? Are they still around and willing to vote for Pressler over Weiland? Why did those Pressler Dems choose Pressler over Dem nominee Denholm forty years ago? Perhaps more comparably, why did those Dems vote even more strongly for Pressler over Dem nominee Don Barnett to replace Dem Senator Abourezk in 1978? Would those Dem-Pressler reasons spill over onto Weiland today?

  5. Steve Sibson 2014.07.24

    Tom, Rounds is center left. Pressler and Weiland are far-left. All three believe in big government. Rounds was all too happy to spend Obama's stimulus money, implement Pre-K, and adopt Common Core.

  6. Steve Sibson 2014.07.24

    Tom, who do you work for now? Did you know Seth Tupper is no longer listed as the publisher of the Mitchell Daily?

  7. larry kurtz 2014.07.24

    Christofascists like Sibby oppose Common Core because it teaches how humans accelerate climate disruptions and because it instructs how genocide and slavery built the United States.

  8. Tara Volesky 2014.07.24

    Does anyone know what happened to Seth? I went into MDR Monday and it was like a morgue. Nobody would say what happened. Looked like the newsroom was on pins and needles. Still, nothing in the paper. Cory, you should print Rod Hall's article I sent you. Just speculating. A few years ago the publisher from the Huron Daily Plainsman was fired over calling out the Mayor. The MDR usually reports only one side of the story. The opposition is pretty much oppressed. Read the newest thing the council is trying to slip through. Unbelievable, a $6 million dollar backroom deal indoor swimming pool. Courtesy from the taxpayers of Mitchell.

  9. Tara Volesky 2014.07.24

    Larry, Cory is against Common Core.

  10. larry kurtz 2014.07.24

    Tara, Cory is concerned that Common Core doesn't go far enough to liberate teachers from its constraints.

  11. lesliengland 2014.07.24

    sib tees it up to take over another thread to support his personal mal-philosophy of sd, the usa, the whole wide world made by god?

  12. Bill Fleming 2014.07.24

    I'm looking forward to the debates. Polls are pretty much worthless at this point. Cory, do you think Howie and Weiland would be up for a "sing off?"

  13. JeniW 2014.07.24

    Simple solution to the Common Core issue. If there is so much fear of federal government control, stop accepting money from the feds to help support public education.

    That way there would not be any string attached, and SD schools can set up their own standards, and stop wasting time and money on standardized testing.

    Snarc alert off now. LOL

  14. Jenny 2014.07.24

    Sorry to be off topic but I want to send money to the Weiland campaign. Does anyone know their address?

  15. jerry 2014.07.24

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

  16. Steve Sibson 2014.07.24

    Larry, wake up, Common Core is the brainchild of the Neo-Fascists corporatists that hate the earth and give campaign dollars to Rounds.

  17. larry kurtz 2014.07.24

    You oppose it for far different reasons than the rest of us do, Steve. Santa Fe schools have taken a huge hit from a failed experiment with charter schools and since South Dakota is twenty years behind the rest of the planet, it will take about that long to sink in.

  18. Tim 2014.07.24

    Not sure if I am off topic or the thread is headed off topic, I just renewed my drivers license today and am proud to say I changed my voter preference to democrat, and as a proud democrat Pressler does nothing for me. I like Larry, don't get me wrong, but as a citizen of SD for almost 30 years, been there done that comes to mind. I support Rick Weiland all the way.

  19. Bill Fleming 2014.07.24

    Tim, I hear ya on both counts. 1. Pressler is an okay second choice after Weiland and 2. It's hard to tell what the topic on some of these threads is after Sibson comes through with his flame thrower.

  20. Tom Lawrence 2014.07.24

    Denholm was himself a pretty conservative Democrat, a former FBI agent and Day County sheriff. Pressler was young and came across as a moderate and a lot of D's backed him early on.
    Frank Denholm, now in his 90s, is still a practicing lawyer in Brookings. He has great stories to tell, including lunch with J. Edgar Hoover. He tried to make a comeback in 1978 but lost the First District House primary to Tom Daschle.
    As I recall, Pressler shifted to the center-right and even the far right during his 22 years in Congress. It was the '80s and the GOP was headed that way.
    By 1996, SD Democrats were strongly against him and Tim Johnson knocked him out of office. He seems to have returned to his former stance now, and has even gone farther left, endorsing Obama and, amazingly enough, Johnson!

  21. Lynn 2014.07.24

    I just finished an automated phone poll for US Senate by out of Arlington, VA. They gave the options for voting for Rounds, Weiland or other. They didn't give Pressler or Howie as a choice.

    It looks like a conservative organization.

  22. 96 Tears 2014.07.24

    Rounds fatigue. People are sick of him. They have Rounds figured out. He never had a tough contest in his life. He was a lousy governor who had the best economy to be governor and he did N=O=T=H=I=N=G.

  23. caheidelberger Post author | 2014.07.25

    Bill, I would support a Weiland-Howie sing-off at the Central States Fair, because I could be there to record it! However, it could turn into a dreadful event, because while Rick would offer his clever, creative satire, Gordon would tinfoil my teeth with his formulaic renditions of Lee Greenwood-style pap.

  24. caheidelberger Post author | 2014.07.25

    Lynn, interesting! Pressler and Howie not on those pollsters' radar. They must not read Roll Call... or they must read Roll Call and think, "Come on, seriously?"

  25. caheidelberger Post author | 2014.07.25

    96, is that Rounds fatigue going to show up at the polls in November?

  26. caheidelberger Post author | 2014.07.25

    (Larry, Common Core goes in the opposite direction of freeing teachers from the constraints on their intelligence and art.)

  27. caheidelberger Post author | 2014.07.25

    Tim, welcome to the party! Glad to have you... and glad to have you rejected Pressler's ploy.

    Tom, let me try a stretch: Pressler was able to win with Democrats when we tacked left and faced a conservative Dem opponent. When he tacked right, he lost Dems... but apparently didn't hold onto enough Repubs to win.

    Given the Denholm comparison, does that mean the less conservative Weiland does not have to worry about Pressler? Can we portray Pressler as a chameleon, taking on the prevailing national political sentiment of his time?

  28. Douglas Wiken 2014.07.25

    Denholm was phony as a three-dollar bill. He thought every voter was an idiot to be scammed with double talk. He was the opposite side of the plastic Pressler coin.

Comments are closed.