The piece also includes a strengths/weaknesses portion. In my opinion the geographic problem will likely hurt Thune. He would bring no new states to the GOP and will probably be insultingly derided as being a rural-state hayseed.
But, privately, those close to Thune acknowledge that he has been receiving considerable encouragement to run and is likely to take a hard look at a national bid. Those same sources caution, however, that he remains entirely undecided and his decision will be heavily shaped by what he hears and sees in the coming months. (They also note that Thune will keep an eye closely on South Dakota to ensure he doesn't repeat the mistakes of then Sen. George Allen in 2006.)
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