Mike Rounds’ appeal for support is simple: The path to GOP majority in the U.S. Senate must go through South Dakota.
National Republicans believe the former governor is their best candidate to win one of the six seats they need to gain in hopes of retaking the Senate from Democrats.
But to do so, Rounds needs to beat four other candidates in Tuesday’s primary.
Democrat Rick Weiland is running unopposed and has built a strong grassroots campaign reminiscent of his former boss, U.S. Sen. Tom Daschle.
The seat is open because Democrat Tim Johnson is retiring from the Senate.
That’s given the GOP a great chance in a state where Republicans control state government and most of its congressional delegation.