United States Senate election in South Dakota, 2008

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United States Senate election in South Dakota, 2008
South Dakota
2002 ←
November 4, 2008 → 2014

  Tim Johnson official portrait, 2009.jpg
Nominee Tim Johnson Joel Dykstra
Party Democratic Republican
Popular vote 237,835 142,766
Percentage 62.5% 37.5%

08SDSenateCounties.PNG

County results

U.S. Senator before election

Tim Johnson
Democratic

Elected U.S. Senator

Tim Johnson
Democratic

The 2008 United States Senate election in South Dakota was held on November 4, 2008. Primary elections were held on June 3, 2008.[1] Incumbent Democratic U.S. Senator Tim Johnson won re-election to a third term.

Republican primary[edit]

Candidates[edit]

Results[edit]

Republican primary results[2]
Party Candidate Votes %
Republican Joel Dykstra 34,598 65.74%
Republican Sam Kephart 13,047 24.79%
Republican Charles Gonyo 4,983 9.47%
Totals 52,628 100.00%

General election[edit]

Candidates[edit]

Campaign[edit]

Already a well-regarded figure, following health problems, Johnson became more popular. “South Dakota is a very kind state,” Steve Jarding, a Harvard political scientist, said. “People were rooting for Tim — Democrats, Republicans, independents — they wanted him to be O.K.” He also seen a pragmatic moderate. He got endorsements from the Republican Sioux Falls mayor Dave Munson and the NRA. Dykstra argued that Johnson voted 80% of the time with U.S. Senator Barack Obama and 90% with U.S. Senator Harry Reid. In response, Johnson pointed out his votes on the confirmation of U.S. Supreme Court justices John Roberts/Samuel Alito, against flag burning, in favor for the Iraq war, Patriot Act, a ban on partial birth abortion, etc.[3]

One of the other reasons why Johnson is popular is earmarks. Recent examples include $248,000 for the Dahl Arts Center in Rapid City, $11 million for Ellsworth Air Base, $400,000 for Rosebud Sioux Reservation, and $37 million for Mni Wiconi Rural Water System. Dykstra opposed earmarks, leading U.S. Senator Tom Coburn to campaign with him.[citation needed]

In August, Johnson visited 20 cities across the state.[4] With nine reservations in the state, American Indians account for 10% of electorate. In 2002, Johnson carried 94% of the Oglala Sioux, the state’s biggest tribe.

Predictions[edit]

CQ Politics rated the race as 'Safe Democrat'.[5] The Cook Political Report considered it 'Likely Democrat'.[6] The Rothenberg Political Report considered it a 'Safe Democrat'.[7]

Polling[edit]

Poll Source Dates administered Johnson Dykstra
Rasmussen Reports July 15, 2008 60% 38%
Rasmussen Reports March 4, 2008 63% 28%

Results[edit]

General election results[8]
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Democratic Tim Johnson (inc.) 237,889 62.49% +12.87%
Republican Joel Dykstra 142,784 37.51% -11.96%
Majority 95,105 24.98% +24.83%
Turnout 380,673
Democratic hold Swing

References[edit]

External links[edit]