Rep. Kristi Noem (R-SD) might have her work cut out for her in South Dakota's lone U.S. House race, according to a new poll released Friday.
The survey, conducted by in-state firm Nielson Brothers Polling, shows the freshman Congresswoman barely leading Democratic challenger Matt Varilek among registered voters in South Dakota, 47-46 percent.
Elected in 2010 after a bruising race against former Rep. Stephanie Herseth-Sandlin (D-SD), Noem has earned star status among fellow Republicans and the tea party faithful. Varilek, a former staffer for Sen. Tim Johnson (D-SD), won the Democratic Party's nomination in June.
Nielson Brothers conducted its survey July 19-23 with 541 registered voters in South Dakota. The poll has a margin of error of 4.21 percentage points.