GOP Picks Up Seat With South Dakota Senate Win

The Republican Party picked up another Senate seat of the night as Republican Mike Rounds wins in South Dakota. Republicans are also projected to win in Arkansas and West Virginia. The GOP needed to win six seats held by Democrats and defend all of theirs to take control of the Senate - a threshold they ultimately surpassed.


Rounds, the former governor, beat both Democratic candidate Rick Weiland and independent candidate Larry Pressler in the race to replace retiring Democratic Sen. Tim Johnson.

The race turned into a bizarre yet interesting race in the last month. Former Republican Gov. Mike Rounds struggled in the polls, in part because of a the controversy surrounding the EB-5 scandal involving immigrant visas, foreign governments and South Dakota dairies from when the time Rounds was governor.

Long-shot Democratic candidate Rick Weiland started gaining traction, as did a former senator running as an independent, Larry Pressler. But in the final week of the campaign, Weiland publicly fought with the Democratic Party, accusing the party of propping up Pressler and hurting him. Weiland even began a petition asking other Democratic candidates not to support Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid as leader should they win.

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- Leigh Ann Caldwell