Daschle struggled to differentiate himself from a national party decidedly more liberal than the average South Dakota voter. He was also hurt by the fact that he had not been seriously challenged since 1986.
Thune ran an ad late in the race that featured footage of Daschle saying he was a “D.C. resident” and defending the right of women to have abortions. This seemed to crystallize the choice for many voters.
Thune won by 2,000 votes — the first candidate to oust a Senate leader since 1952.
Vice President Joe Biden waits to conduct a mock swearing-in ceremony with Sen. Brian Schatz, D-Hawaii, in the Capitol's Old Senate Chamber, December 2, 2014. Schatz was sworn in to serve the remainder of his term since he was appointed to the seat after Sen. Daniel Inouye, D-Hawaii, passed away.