- Associated Press - Thursday, October 30, 2014

PIERRE, S.D. (AP) - The leading candidates for South Dakota governor are taking two very different approaches in appealing to voters as Election Day nears.

With a comfortable lead in the polls, Republican incumbent Dennis Daugaard’s team says he plans to campaign lightly but will mostly focus on his day job. He told the Associated Press last week that so far, he has done the occasional debate or fundraiser for the campaign, but has mostly relied on his track record in office.

“I have a job, and voters expect me to do it,” he said. “So the best things I’ve found, is just to do my job and work hard.”

Daugaard’s campaign said he’s expected to appear in public with U.S. Senate candidate Mike Rounds and other Republicans for a day or two before the election.

Meanwhile, state Rep. Susan Wismer has a packed schedule, traversing the state from Pierre to Mobridge to Sioux Falls to Pine Ridge from Thursday to Saturday.

Unlike her opponent, who’s been governor since 2010 and was lieutenant governor for eight years before that, Wismer has struggled more with name recognition.

A poll published this week by the Argus Leader and KELO-TV in Sioux Falls found that 36 percent of voters said they did not recognize Wismer’s name. That same poll found Daugaard had a 36-point lead on the six-year state legislator.

Wismer, a Democrat, will get a chance to reach out to South Dakota’s younger demographic and Native American voters this weekend, as she’s scheduled to attend the Rock the Vote concerts on the Rosebud and Pine Ridge Reservations on Saturday and one in Rapid City on Sunday.

While Wismer has traveled the state by car to spread her campaign message, Daugaard has relied more on advertising and name recognition. Campaign finance reports show the governor spent about $880,000 from May 20 to Oct. 20. Wismer used up about $240,000 during that same period.

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