South Dakota

Senate race

32.96Poll avg.
CandidatePredicted Vote %Win Prob.
Brian L. Bengs34.1%2%
John R. Thune65.9%98%

About South Dakota

South Dakota is a mostly rural state that has consistently voted Republican, with Republican presidential nominees carrying the state in the last 13 elections. The state government is also largely controlled by the Republican party. South Dakota is 87.4% white, and has a population of 895,376 as of 2021. 8.5% of residents are Native American. Currently the Republican party is dominant in South Dakota.


Brian Bengs (D)

Image of Brian Bengs Source: Bengs for U.S. Senate

John Thune (R)

Image of John Thune Source: John Thune

Brian Bengs is the Democratic candidate in this race. He is a new politician running for the first time. With an Airforce and Navy background, he goes by “Big, Bold Brian Bengs” on his website. Accusing John Thune of opposing programs like ACA and Medicare, Bengs promises to fight for these programs. In his spare time, he enjoys working on old cars to restore their former glory.

John Thune was first elected as a South Dakotan senator in 2004 and has served since 2005 and is currently the Republican Whip. He is an establishment candidate who is somewhat at odds with Trump, even having participated in brief angry twitter exchanges with him after Trump’s claims that he had won the 2020 presidential election. After deciding to not retire and instead run for reelection in 2022, he easily won his primary.


The Democratic primary was cancelled, allowing Brian Bengs to advance to the general election without competition.

Being a long time incumbent, John Thune faced very little competition in the Republican primary, winning over 70% of the vote.

Issues & controversies

John Thune strongly supports limiting gun control by appealing to the second amendment as well as expanding national security and limiting abortion rights. Brian Bengs, on the other hand, strongly believes that democracy is being threatened across the country, especially by candidates being backed by large PACs and rich donors.

Campaign ads

Chance of winning over time

We run our model twice a day. Explore how our prediction has changed over the course of the race.


Recent polls

Polls consist of polls ranked C- and above gathered by FiveThirtyEight.