South Dakota state Rep. Kristi Noem (R), who has evoked comparisons to former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin and gained national attention after a monster third-quarter fundraising haul in her race to unseat Rep. Stephanie Herseth-Sandlin (D-S.D.), is embarking on a final campaign swing with Sen. John Thune (R-S.D.).
Noem's campaign said Friday that Thune, a rumored 2012 Republican presidential hopeful, will stump with her at several stops during a bus tour that will hit more than 25 South Dakota cities before Election Day.
A new Rasmussen poll out Friday gave Noem a five-point edge over Herseth-Sandlin — 49 percent to 44 percent. Two percent of likely voters prefer a different candidate, while 5 percent remain undecided.
The poll surveyed 500 likely South Dakota voters and has a margin of error of plus or minus 4.5 percentage points.
Noem has argued that Herseth-Sandlin votes with House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) and the Democratic leadership too often, even though the Blue Dog Democrat voted against healthcare.
During the third quarter, Noem raised $1.1 million for her campaign to Herseth-Sandlin's $550,000.