South Dakota’s open Senate seat is regarded by many Republicans as a “sure win" for midterms this fall. Republican candidate Mike Rounds has kept a significant lead for the seat that Democratic Senator Tim Johnson will vacate at the end of his term. Round's candidacy plays a vital role in the GOP's goal of controlling the Senate next year. Rounds has served two terms as South Dakota's governor and was the State Senate Majority Leader before winning the gubernatorial election. Many people in South Dakota know Rounds or members of his family or have met him in person during the course of his service.
Not surprisingly, as he campaigns against several Senate hopefuls, including Democrat Rick Weiland, he is focusing on Obama's unpopularity and providing detailed explanations of how he would improve the current Administration's programs and agencies. His opposition to Obamacare is a major focal point of his campaign, and he states that Congress needs to revamp the program and truly fix what Obama was “trying to fix.” Additionally, Rounds is targeting the Environmental Protection Agency–which for obvious reasons is not popular in farm country–ridiculing the the Agency's efforts to regulate everything from farm dust to cow flatulence. Rounds stated that Congress needs to rein in the agency and has received a substantial amount of support regarding this matter, as many individuals would like to see the EPA's bullying tactics put to a stop. He is also a proponent of the REINS Act, which states that no regulations coming out of DC can be put into effect unless the Senate and the House agree.
Rounds is running against three other contenders, two of which are independents: United States Senator Larry Pressler and former state Senator Gordon Howie. However, his closest competition is Weiland, who was once an aide to Tom Daschle–the former Democratic Senate Majority Leader. Weiland is the charismatic underdog, but most experts predict a sizable win for Rounds.