The folks at Badlands Blue will be glad to tell you that Republican candidate Joel Dykstra has no chance against Tim Johnson because of the almost insurmountable fundraising advantage that the Johnson's campaign has. And despite calls by Johnson detractors that Senator Johnson is ducking debates because of his health, Todd Epp tells us that these unheeded calls to debate will have no effect on his almost certain re-election as well.
I would like to float my own thoughts on why Joel Dykstra will likely not beat Tim Johnson in November that have nothing to do with money or Johnson's debating ability. Just look at his voting record.
Why would traditionally red South Dakota get rid of someone that is rated the most conservative Democrat in the Senate (by this group at least) with his seniority for someone that would have almost no clout if elected? Dykstra would surely be more conservative in his voting if a miracle win happened but is there really enough of a difference between the two like there was when John Thune beat Tom Daschle a few years ago?
South Dakotan's don't seem to mind putting Democrats in office despite our conservative tendencies, never more so than lately, as long as they have the courtesy to vote for the conservative agenda like Senator Johnson and Rep. Herseth Sandlin often do. So I would guess that as long as South Dakotan's continue to feel he is healthy enough to serve us, he would be a safe bet to win this fall simply because he votes red enough for most South Dakotan's to overlook that "D" next to his name.
Oh, and there is that whole George Bush being the most unpopular President in our lifetime thing which makes being a Republican something else that Dykstra will have to overcome as well...