- Associated Press - Friday, July 22, 2016

PIERRE, S.D. (AP) - South Dakota Republicans who attended the GOP’s national convention are headed home confident and energized after naming Donald Trump as their standard-bearer for the fall election, state delegates said Friday.

The party is united and ready to work for a November victory, which Trump will claim by “double digits” in deep red South Dakota, said Jason Glodt, one of the state’s 29 delegates. Convention attendees, including Gov. Dennis Daugaard, have also praised Trump’s choice of Indiana Gov. Mike Pence as his running mate against presumptive Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton.

Delegate John Teupel of Spearfish had been skeptical and critical of the Trump campaign for months. He came out of the convention, though, with “a great deal of confidence” and said Republicans can’t afford to sit on the sidelines.

“There’s too much on the line here, too much at stake for the future of our country,” he said.

Trump easily carried South Dakota in the June 7 Republican primary since he was the only active candidate left in the race. He’s got “serious problems” if he’s not leading South Dakota in the general, said Jon Schaff, a political science professor at Northern State University.

With the likelihood of Trump handily taking the state in November, a visit from the candidate during the campaign is unlikely, Glodt said as he drove home from Cleveland in a recreational vehicle emblazoned on the sides with “South Dakota Republican Grassroots Express.”

But South Dakota Democratic Party Executive Director Suzanne Jones Pranger said Clinton will get “strong support” in the state.

“South Dakotans have the common sense to see that Donald Trump does not have the temperament or the judgment to be the president of the United States,” she said.

Trump won over the American people with his Thursday evening acceptance speech, South Dakota delegate Lynne DiSanto said, describing him as a man of action who will beat Clinton. Strength was the takeaway, said DiSanto, a state representative from Rapid City.

“America has become weak, and our partners and other countries believe that we’re weak,” she said Thursday night. “Donald Trump is strong, and that’s what we need and that’s what he delivered tonight.”

Trump promised to be the champion of disaffected Americans, wrapping up the convention on a strong note after shows of disharmony and assorted flubs earlier in the event.

Glodt, of Pierre, said that he thinks the majority of Americans want change. Trump articulated that he’s the best person to implement that change, Glodt said. He believes the “broad majority” of Republicans feel better about the nominee now than before the convention.

“The convention ended strong,” Glodt said. “Trump gave an incredible speech, the best yet, and it ended on a high note.”

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