2008 United States Senate election in South Dakota
Johnson: 50–60% 60–70% 70–80% 80–90%
Dykstra: 50–60% 60–70%
|Elections in South Dakota|
The 2008 United States Senate election in South Dakota was held on November 4, 2008. Primary elections were held on June 3, 2008. Incumbent Democratic U.S. Senator Tim Johnson won re-election to a third term. As of 2019, this is the last U.S. Senate race in South Dakota won by a Democrat.
- Tim Johnson (D), incumbent U.S. Senator
- Joel Dykstra (R), South Dakota State Representative
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 was also seen a pragmatic moderate. He received endorsements from the Republican Mayor of Sioux Falls, 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.
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.
In August, Johnson visited 20 cities across the state. 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.
|Poll Source||Dates administered||Tim
|Rasmussen Reports||March 4, 2008||63%||28%|
|Rasmussen Reports||July 15, 2008||60%||38%|
Johnson easily won re-election to a third term, losing in only four counties. His friend and fellow Democrat, Stephanie Herseth Sandlin easily won re-election to South Dakota's at-large congressional district,
|Democratic||Tim Johnson (incumbent)||237,889||62.49%||+12.87%|
- Horrigan, Marie (March 18, 2008). "Sen. Johnson Rated Safe as Recruiting Woes Hurt GOP". CQ Politics. Retrieved November 7, 2008.
- Johnson campaigns on cash, Dykstra wants change
- Johnson, Dirk; Herszenhorn, David (October 23, 2008). "In South Dakota Race, Gauging the Impact of a Senator's Health". The New York Times.
- Race Ratings Chart: Senate Archived October 28, 2010, at the Wayback Machine CQ Politics
- 2008 Senate Race Ratings The Cook Political Report, October 9, 2008
- 2008 Senate Ratings The Rothenberg Political Report, September 29, 2008
- Elections & Voter Registration from the South Dakota Secretary of State
- U.S. Congress candidates for South Dakota at Project Vote Smart
- South Dakota, U.S. Senate from CQ Politics
- South Dakota U.S. Senate from OurCampaigns.com
- South Dakota Senate race from 2008 Race Tracker
- Dykstra (R) vs Johnson (D-i) graph of multiple polls from Pollster.com
- Official campaign websites