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Schaff: Rounds in Trouble; Dumb Reason for Debate Dodge Shows Why

Republican Senate candidate Mike Rounds is not inspiring confidence, even among the party faithful:

"Rounds is in trouble," said Jon Schaff, political science professor at Northern State University in Aberdeen. "It is not good that now in multiple polls we have 55 to 60 percent of voters supporting someone other than Mike Rounds" [Denise Ross, "Rounds Taking Heat for Skipping Debates," Mitchell Daily Republic, 2014.09.19].

Part of Rounds's problem may be surrounding himself with cronies who say stupid things, like spokesman Mitch Krebs trying to excuse Rounds from debates:

"We can't do all the requests. If we accepted every invitation to a debate and forum, we'd have our entire schedule filled with that. We've got to find time to actually talk to people," Krebs said [Ross, 2014.09.19].

Uh, Mitch, debating and actually talking to people are not mutually exclusive. Debates and forums are great chances to actually talk to people... if you drop your rehearsed, focus-grouped talking points and speak authentically for 60 minutes.


  1. owen reitzel 2014.09.20

    Want to hear an example of Rounds "talking to people?" I was hoping to talk to him after the Dakotafest debate. But after he was done with the media he was ushered out of the tent without talking to anybody.
    I had good discussions with Larry Pressler and Gordon Howie.
    Sorry Mr. Krebs but your statement about talking to the people is BS.

  2. JeniW 2014.09.20

    Has Mike Rounds made any Meet & Greets in Sioux Falls? Any scheduled?

    I do not mean the Chamber or Rotary Club meetings, I mean where he would meet people at a HyVee cafe, or a restaurant, or even the public library?

  3. 96Tears 2014.09.20

    Rounds and Bollen on the lam, running out the clock. What a dumb from Krebs, but I have no doubt he said and meant it. Rounds has no time for people. He just wants to buy the seat and go back to filling pockets.

  4. Rorschach 2014.09.20

    Rounds is too busy hiding in his bunker to do anything besides scripted appearances before friendly audiences. He may do an unannounced visit or two in some small town somewhere as long as nobody knows ahead of time so he won't face anybody but surprised locals. The remainder of his campaign will be run whack-a-mole style.

  5. jerry 2014.09.20

    He is spooked about a Sioux Falls meet and greet I think. He has one scheduled for Rapid City on September 23 from 5 to 6.30 at Canyon Lake Park Shelter #3 though. You can make the journey to the Black Hills and see the little weasel in all his glory then.

  6. caheidelberger Post author | 2014.09.20

    Owen, I did see Rounds after he hustled out of the SDSU tent at Dakotafest. He was doing another TV stand-up.

  7. caheidelberger Post author | 2014.09.20

    Rounds at Canyon Lake, Tuesday at 5 p.m.? Hey, maybe we can get Gordon Howie to drive his campaign bus around the park flying some appropriate banners. Maybe we can get the Native Sun News and UTTC folks to come ask Rounds the questions he would have had a chance to answer if he had come to their debate last week.

  8. caheidelberger Post author | 2014.09.20

    Larry, that article about Rounds's huge Future Fund expenditures also serves as a passionate affirmation of government stimulus spending in response to recession:

    "Rounds told the Capital Journal the increase in Future Funds during his final year in office occurred as the state’s businesses attempted to recover from the recession. 'As we came out of the recession and new manufacturers started showing up, they would apply for workforce development grant funds,' he said" [Joel Ebert, "Rounds Awarded $75 Million in Future Funds while Governor," Pierre Capital Journal, 2014.03.10].

  9. larry kurtz 2014.09.20

    Cory, the hubris and hypocrisy of the Rounds campaign and of the SDGOP is simply thaumaturgic.

  10. Chris Francis 2014.09.20

    Just saw Mike at the DSU parade, grassroots express and all, and he stood in the middle of the street directing stickers and not shaking hands or talking with the crowd. Now Rick, he's doing double time with the crowd, on his feet, still around an hour later.

  11. judy judy 2014.09.20

    Saw Rounds at the Sioux Empire Fair. He was visible without making himself accessible. He was at the Republican booth and a number of people were milling around for a chance to speak with him but he placed himself in a corner and talked intensely to a single person for over 15 minutes avoiding the rest of the crowd then quickly leaving when he finished the conversation. Nice technique if your true purpose is to avoid the crowd and tough questions.

  12. Lynn 2014.09.20

    The way it sounds from Mike Rounds sightings there could be a really good TV ad contrasting the accessibility of Mike Rounds vs Rick Weiland. It would be great for someone to catch both of them as you describe on camera. Will this guy give a damn about me once he gets to Washington? If so how much will it cost?

  13. JeniW 2014.09.20

    That would be good Lynn. Another idea would be how Rounds is insulting the citizens of SD by taking voters for granted, and refusing to participate in debates, or conducting Meet & Greets.

  14. larry kurtz 2014.09.20

    It's likely that the Rounds legal team has him screwed down pretty tightly for fear he will say something incriminating.

  15. Tim 2014.09.20

    This is totally off topic and Cory, I am sorry. I just arrived in Mitchell and am going to be here for the next week working, I need some help with decent places to eat, any of our Mitchell residents have some help for a tired traveler? Thanks, and once again Cory, sorry.

  16. caheidelberger Post author | 2014.09.20

    [I grant the hungry traveler leeway. Sibby, what are you making for supper? :-D ]

  17. Bob Klein 2014.09.20

    George McGovern's favorite was Chef Louie's.

  18. jerry 2014.09.20

    The Depot Pub and Grill on the south end of Mitchell always has some good food and drink

  19. Roger Cornelius 2014.09.20

    About that $75 million in Future Fund grants, how many of those recipients donated our money back to the Rounds Campaign and in what amounts.

  20. mike from iowa 2014.09.20

    Sibby's making the same S$%# he's been feeding us for months.

  21. Rich 2014.09.20

    In mitchell, places to eat are blarney's, whiskey creek, cattlemen's club, ruby Tuesday's, culver's. There's a new restaurant in the mall on the north end of main street. Can't remember name but food is great. And chef Louis. I do not recommend pizza hut or Marlin's.

  22. larry kurtz 2014.09.20

    Roger: Rounds hasn't disclosed that but DD did. The link is a PDF at the Cap Journal but am anyway from the computer where I have a link stored.

  23. Roger Cornelius 2014.09.20

    Thanks Larry, come to think of it I do recall reading the article, thanks again.

  24. Tim 2014.09.20

    Thanks you all, looks like I'll be eating pretty good this coming week.

  25. Deb Geelsdottir 2014.09.21

    Okay Larry, I have a pretty decent vocabulary, but I had to look up "thaumaturgic." Well spoken, my friend, well spoken.

  26. caheidelberger Post author | 2014.09.22

    Holy cow, Larry! "The Democrats have won the EB-5 debate and will continue to beat Rounds with this," says Professor Schaff! That deserves a whole new blog post!

  27. Deb Geelsdottir 2014.09.22

    Rachel Maddow writes a monthly column for the Washington Post. Her latest is about 3-Ways, political 3-ways, that is.

    Maddow describes the Kansas and Maine 3-ways. In both states Democrats and Independents have joined forces to defeat the Republican opponent.

    She includes SD's 3-way, with the hope that Weiland and Pressler can find a way to work together to defeat Rounds. She says good things about Weiland, little about Pressler or Rounds.

    It's my hope too. Here's the link:

  28. Jenny 2014.09.22

    Doesn't Schaff lean left anyway? I wouldn't get too excited about this.

  29. Jenny 2014.09.22

    Okay you guys, how is the SDDP like the MN Vikings? Neither can seem to pick up a win anymore. ;) Plus, neither has any shining star to lead their team to wins anymore.

  30. mike from iowa 2014.09.22

    In Alaska,the GOP saw the latest poll showing Parnell trailing so they are suing to get the Unity Party off the ballot. In Kansas,wingnuts saw they were losing so they are suing to put the Dem back on the ballot.

  31. Bill Fleming 2014.09.22

    If Rounds throws any more people under the EB-5 bus, they're gonna need a new bus.

  32. grudznick 2014.09.22

    You missed my Breakfast Rant on Sunday, Bill, but I put forth my theory about the vastness of the conspiracies. And there are many conspiracies all of which are growing vaster.

  33. Bill Fleming 2014.09.22

    I always like hearing you expound expansively on vastness grudz. Sorry to have missed. I have a veritable plethora
    of excuses.

  34. Deb Geelsdottir 2014.09.22

    Jenny, I went to the Twins game Saturday night. They are just as bad live as they are on tv. Ugh.

  35. grudznick 2014.09.22

    Ms. Geelsdottir, how many Schweigert hot dogs did you eat and how are they? I have heard about them on the radio and they say they are uncomplicated. I am OK with uncomplicated hot dogs but I like complicated mustards for the palate.

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