It’s looking good for the grandson of a South Dakota icon. The most recent survey by Nielson Brothers Polling (NBP) shows Public Utilities Commission (PUC) candidate Matt McGovern as the strongest statewide Democratic candidate. In the NBP survey of likely South Dakota voters, conducted from October 28 to October 31, McGovern leads Republican Kristie Fiegen by 6 percent (45 to 39 percent). Libertarian Russell Clarke receives 5 percent of support, with 11 percent “undecided.”

The momentum has been building for McGovern since polling began in late August.  At that time, Fiegen got a majority of support with McGovern behind by double digits, since then McGovern has pulled ahead as undecided voters have embraced the Democrat’s message.  Then add in the Republican party’s misstep on the proper lineage of Matt McGovern and the balance has tipped.  Plus, support has sagged a bit for the Libertarian candidate Russ Clarke.  The wild card in that race remains the voters who have yet to land on one side or the other.

In the other race for PUC, incumbent Republican Chris Nelson is outdistancing Democrat Nick Nemec 58 percent to 28 percent, with 14 percent “undecided.” This race has been solidly in Nelson’s favor during the run of polling.  Nelson has even gained a few notches since the last  survey in early October.

In the South Dakota US House race, Republican Representative Kristi Noem is in front of Democratic challenger Matt Varilek by 6 percent (50 to 44 percent) with 6 percent “undecided.”  The distance between these two remains unchanged since the last data received.  Comparatively, undecided voters are down one point and seem to be split evenly between the two.

NBP surveyed a random selection of likely South Dakota voters from October 28 through October 31, 2012. The number of responses ranged from 671 for the presidential job approval question to 634 for the generic state senate races question. The margins of error ranged from 3.78 percent for the presidential job approval question to 3.89 percent for the generic state senate races question.