Incumbent: Gov. Mike Rounds (R) is term-limited
Democrat: State Sen. Min. Leader Scott Heidepriem
Republican: Lt. Gov. Dennis Daugaard
2008 Presidential Result: Obama 45%; McCain 53%
55+ population (2009 estimate): 26.3%
Overview: This state has been trending Republican, and this race seems ready to bear out that trend. Dennis Daugaard is leading, but Scott Heidepriem has been chipping away at Daugaard over the environment and energy issues. Daugaard said in a debate that he wasn't sure that global warming was caused by humans, while Heidepriem argued that he sees it as a real threat proven by science. Both want to promote green energy jobs.
50+ Facts: Check the latest economic statistics and details on the state budget deficit.
Fun Fact: In 1974, freshman University of South Dakota student Heidepriem rushed the Lambda Chi Alpha fraternity and met its president—a senior named Daugaard. Their careers paralleled each other until 2006 when Heidepriem, a lifelong Republican, switched and became a Democrat.
'Wild Card' Issue: A casino in Iowa. Iowa plans to build a gambling casino in the far northwest corner of that state, right across the border from South Dakota. Heidepriem says if that happens, he'll advocate building a casino on the S.D. side of the border near Sioux Falls. Daugaard says he's open to discussing the idea.
Introduction: Governors' Races Hold High Stakes for the Future