The Nielson Brothers Polling pre-election survey conducted Oct. 24-26 by telephone found some predictable likelihoods — Republicans Trump, Thune, Noem and Nelson are ahead of Democrats Clinton, Williams, Hawks and Red Cloud — but the ballot measures promise to be interesting. Look here for the full set of numbers October NBP South Dakota Survey. NBP provides these numbers for free each election year. So have fun.
The Politico and Morning Consult national polling partnership released new numbers this morning (Monday) in the presidential race. They showed Democrat Hillary Clinton leading Republican Donald Trump in a four-way race with Clinton at 42 percent and Trump at 39 percent. The margin of error in the large-sample poll (1,772 likely voters, Oct. 29-30) was a possible plus or minus 2 percent.
Our nation elects presidents using the Electoral College. That means each state’s election results figure into the national equation. We’re now at the point where the status of one or two or three states could decide this national election. Those are the numbers to watch at this point eight days before the voting.
The most interesting thing in the Politico / Morning Consult numbers is the lack of change for Clinton and Trump in the past four weeks. On Sept. 24. On that day, Trump was in front with 39 percent, while Clinton was at 38 percent. Since then, Clinton climbed in front. Starting Sept. 27, Clinton has been at 41 to 42 percent in all nine of the partnership’s national polls. Trump has varied at 39 to 36 percent to 39 percent. Take a look here.
Friday marked the deadline for candidates and political committees to file their pre-general election spending reports with the South Dakota Secretary of State’s office. Among the delinquents were:
Butte County Republicans, Clay County Democrats, Douglas County Republicans, Democratic House candidate Ellee Spawn of Sioux Falls, Republican House candidate Greg Jamison of Sioux Falls, House Republican leader Brian Gosch of Rapid City (term-limited, isn’t running), Harding County Republicans, IFAPAC, Jerauld County Republicans, Local 620 PAC, Lyman County Republicans, Meade County Democrats, Meade County Republicans, Mellette County Republicans, Minnehaha County Republican Women, NARAL PAC, Perkins County Republicans, Democratic House candidate Red Dawn Foster of Pine Ridge, Corn Growers, Campaign for Healthy Families, South Dakota Medical Group Management Association, Progress PAC, Democratic House candidate Steve Stenson of Rapid City, Turner County Democrats, Turner County Republicans, Gregory County Republicans, Independent House candidate Chuck Haan of Watertown, Jobs For South Dakota, Minnehaha Future PAC, Republican Sen. Jeff Monroe of Pierre and Stanley County Democrats.
It’s possible some of these reports would have been coming in the mail and they’ll be logged on Monday. But in the meantime, they’re late.
A statistical analysis of South Dakota highway fatalities might or might not find a trend of more deaths during the fall months when many more farm implements and many more semi trucks hauling cattle, hay and grain are on the roads. On late Friday afternoon in Clark County, two semis collided near Garden City, when a cattle hauler northbound on 432 Avenue reportedly blew through a stop sign at the 167 Street intersection, where it collided with a semi pulling an empty belly dump trailer. The cattle hauler wound up in the ditch and burst into flames. Its driver, age 60, was killed. The driver, age 53, in the other truck wasn’t injured, according to the Highway Patrol. Names haven’t been released as of Saturday morning.
Secretary of State Shantel Krebs said today that she is allowing counties to file their voter registrations with her office through Monday, Oct. 31. The deadline for citizens to register was by 5 p.m. local time Monday, Oct. 24. But some counties saw large numbers of registrations that day and auditor’s offices are still catching up. Krebs said about 2,000 registrations came into Minnehaha County alone.
There is a general rule that existed since at least the 1980s regarding South Dakota pre-election polling. The undecideds, in the final days, will tend to break approximately two-thirds in favor of the challenger or the lesser-known candidate. So, if we use the KELO TV polling numbers released this week, Republican U.S. Rep. Kristi Noem would defeat Democratic challenger Paula Hawks roughly 61 percent to 39 percent; they were 59-35, with 6 percent undecided, in the KELO numbers. For the U.S. Senate contest, Republican incumbent John Thune would defeat Democratic challenger Jay Williams approximately 67 percent to 33 percent; they were at 65-27, with 8 percent undecided, in the KELO numbers. Let’s see if the old rule holds true when the ballots are counted Nov. 8. We know it turned out true in 2002 in the Republican primary for governor, as Mike Rounds swept past Mark Barnett and Steve Kirby after those two front-runners deadlocked in their negative-advertising war.
While we watch friction climb in North Dakota on the route of the Dakota Access crude-oil pipeline where its builders want to cross the Missouri River downstream from Bismarck and upstream from the Standing Rock Sioux Reservation, it is worth checking the weekly compliance monitoring reports for the pipeline’s route through South Dakota. Those can be found here. There’s no claim that what has happened in South Dakota reflects what has happened, or hasn’t happened, in North Dakota. But the week by week reports for South Dakota show zero violations, six instances of non-compliance and four problem areas. The situations in the reports range from a speeding complaint to mixing of soil. The most recent complaint through Oct. 19 dealt with a landowner’s drain tiles that weren’t properly working; they were repaired. The pipeline’s crossing beneath the James River in South Dakota evidently didn’t meet any problems. The Oct. 19 report showed the project was complete on two of the three spreads in South Dakota and was nearly complete on the third spread, with topsoil replacement 94 percent done and seeding 90 percent finished.
Remington Research Group isn’t a big name among public-opinion survey firms but it decided to look at the presidential and U.S. Senate elections in South Dakota. The Kansas City-based company uses automated voice-response surveys.
The company said that during the period of Oct. 19-21 it contacted 1,115 people it considered to be likely South Dakota voters. The company did this without a paying client, according to Titus Bond, the company’s director of polling. “We periodically conduct public surveys in states where no public data is available. It was done at our cost,” Bond said by email in response to a reporter’s question.
In the presidential race, the results indicated 48 percent support for Republican nominee Donald Trump, followed by Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton 37 percent; Libertarian Gary Johnson had 6 percent, Constitution Party nominee had two percent and undecideds totaled eight percent.
In the Senate race, the results indicated Republican John Thune had 57 percent support and Democrat Jay Williams had 36 percent support, with seven percent undecided.
In three weeks we’ll better know our direction, at least for the next two years, in South Dakota. The campaign for governor in 2018 is already well underway while Gov. Dennis Daugaard has more than two years remaining on his second and final term. The 2017 legislative session promises to be exciting and highly experienced. Twenty-four of the 105 legislative seats already have winners because the candidates don’t have opponents in the Nov. 8 general election. There are 64 current legislators running for additional terms in their current chambers. There are seven House members seeking seats in the Senate and two senators seeking seats in the House. There are at least eleven former legislators (Tyler, Pierson, Nelson, Burg, Maher, Wismer, Carson, Ahlers, Rhoden, Turbiville and Lust) looking to get back into the House or the Senate. The governor appears to be on a course to seek Medicaid expansion if he thinks he has the votes and if Congress appears unable to repeal Obamacare. And South Dakota’s economy is soft right now, with questions rising about whether the state treasury will receive enough tax revenue to pay for everything already budgeted including the increased aid to school districts for teacher salary improvements. Plus, we won’t know until late on Nov. 8 or early on Nov. 9 the results of the 10 ballot measures, many of which would require some degree of legislative action if voters approve them. January through March will be a vigorous struggle in Fun City. And the governor campaign (and possibly the U.S. House campaign, if Republican Rep. Kristi Noem runs for another office such as governor) will hit third and fourth gears through 2017 and the first five months of 2018 leading to the next June primary.