- The Washington Times - Wednesday, October 8, 2014

The official campaign arm for Senate Democrats is reportedly planning to spend $1 million in an effort to keep a seat coming open in South Dakota out of Republican hands in a race long thought to be out of reach.

Bloomberg reported Wednesday that the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee (DSCC) will spend most of the money on television ads and the rest on field operations, with advertising starting as early as Monday.

Both parties have long viewed the seat being vacated by retiring Democratic Sen. Tim Johnson as a fairly safe Republican pick-up in the GOP’s quest to net the six seats they need to regain a majority in the upper chamber.

But a recent poll shows Republican former Gov. Mike Rounds with a slim lead in a three-way race with independent Larry Pressler and Democrat Rick Weiland. Mr. Rounds is the choice for 35 percent of likely voters in the SurveyUSA poll, Mr. Pressler is at 32 percent and Mr. Weiland is at 28 percent.

A month ago, SurveyUSA had Mr. Rounds at 39 percent, Mr. Weiland at 28 percent and Mr. Pressler at 25 percent.

With the vast majority of the ads reportedly going to attack Mr. Rounds, Democrats could theoretically deny the GOP a pick-up even with a win by Mr. Pressler, a former GOP senator who endorsed President Obama in 2008 and 2012 and could caucus with either party if he wins.

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