With longtime Democratic Senator Tim Johnson of South Dakota not seeking re-election, the race for his open U.S. Senate seat is wide open. Republican nominee and former governor Mike Rounds currently leads the polls over his three opponents: Democrat Rick Weiland, Independent Gordon Howie, and Independent Larry Pressler.
Pressler, 72, represented South Dakota in the Senate as a Republican from 1979 to 1997. He is hoping to revive his political career after a long absence from public office. In a recent SurveyUSA poll, Pressler jumped to second place in the race, just three points behind Rounds. With Weiland not included in the poll, Pressler leads Rounds 54 percent to 39 percent.
Despite Pressler’s momentum and apparent independent/outsider perspective, he evades citizen journalists like myself, acting more like an establishment duopoly candidate than a genuine independent.