Presidential Campaign Trails Lead To South Dakota

South Dakota Democrats excited about Sanders, Clinton campaign stops

The Republican Presidential race started with 17 candidates and is now down to one. With Donald Trump as the presumptive nominee, more attention has turned to the Democrats. Bernie Sanders and Hillary Clinton are still battling it out for the Democratic nomination and both are turning their attention to South Dakota.

Sanders was the first of the presidential hopefuls to make a campaign stop in South Dakota. The Vermont Senator held three rallies in the Mount Rushmore State, gathering his biggest crowd in Sioux Falls.

Not long after Sanders announced the campaign stops this week, did Hillary Clinton announce that her husband, former President Bill Clinton, will be stopping in Sioux Falls for a rally next week.

“It is spur of the moment for a lot of these campaign activities. We’re just as excited as the rest of the state to be having them join us,” South Dakota Democratic Party Executive Director Suzanne Jones Pranger said.

While it may be Sanders’ first time campaigning in South Dakota, the Clinton’s are a little more familiar with the territory. Both Bill and Hillary made multiple campaign stops in the state during her 2008 run for president.

“When the candidates show up in the state, it really does personalize them to the voters and they understand that our state is important and their voice is important and that’s why they are here campaigning,” Jones Pranger said.

South Dakota is widely known as a conservative state and the race for the GOP nomination is pretty much in the bag for Donald Trump, leaving South Dakota Democrats eager to hit the polls in June.

“Independents can go and vote in the Democratic Primary and we’re excited to be able to have a choice and have our votes matter on June 7. Since the Republicans have a presumptive nominee in Donald Trump, Democrats and Independents in South Dakota will still have a voice,” Jones Pranger said.

The deadline to register to vote or change your party affiliation for the June 7 primary is May 23. You can find a voter registration form on the Secretary of State’s website. A list of places where you can register can also be found on that site.