A fierce battle is brewing for South Dakota's sole House seat between the Democratic incumbent, Stephanie Herseth Sandlin, and Kristi Noem, a conservative challenger some have dubbed "the next Sarah Palin." Herseth Sandlin, who has held her seat since 2004, reflects the conservative values of her state—though a Democrat, she voted against health care reform, financial bailouts, and cap-and-trade.
Nonetheless, Noem has pummeled her Democratic rival for casting a vote in support of Nancy Pelosi as speaker of the House, telling the Washington Post that the Pelosi agenda is "completely out of step with South Dakota." The race is more than a test between two candidates who've been referred to as "mama grizzlies"—or, less tastefully, participants in a "Battle of the Babes." South Dakota is one of the 48 Democratic congressional districts that voted for McCain in 2008—if the GOP can win back any seats, it should be these.