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Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Noem Vs. Herseth Sandlin: Reasons to Get Excited

My prediction on the South Dakota GOP House primary was flat wrong. I said Chris Nelson would beat Kristi Noem and R. Blake Curd, 42–31–27. Instead, Noem ate Nelson's lunch and had Curd for seconds, 42–36–23.

Yet I wake up this bright sunny prairie morning excited for the Noem–Herseth Sandlin contest. Here's why:
  1. Noem's victory is a poke in the eye to big-money candidates like Dr. Curd. Curd throws his specialty-practice money into a big ad push the last week, and all he has to show for it is third place almost everywhere and a new bowling shirt.
  2. Noem's victory also proves you can still declare late—just three and a half months before the primary—and win. (Someone please rub that in on Kevin Weiland this morning.)
  3. Noem gets big momentum from beating Nelson. A 23-year political veteran and winner of two previous statewide elections, he could have had a Dauagaard-style runaway, too. Instead, Noem ran harder, energized more people, and now has doubters on both sides going, "Holy crap! She's serious!" Momentum means a more exciting race...
  4. ...and momentum means Democratic incumbent Stephanie Herseth Sandlin runs even harder, too. She's got to understand that she can't coast on niceness and grandpa's blue pickup against a GOP machine that Noem will energize more than any of her previous challengers (Janklow didn't energize; he ordered).
  5. Had Nelson won, the Weiland wing of the Democratic party could have lived with sitting on their hands, if not actually voting for the man. One Dem friend has already called and said Noem fires him back up to campaign for SHS and keep one more wingnut out of Washington.
  6. Noem has been a big supporter of abortion bans. That's why the religious right swung hard her way. That will also motivate my side of the party to get out and vote Dem, not just for SHS, but on down the ticket (remember, Angie Buhl will need reinforcements in Pierre!).
  7. Noem vs. SHS = Bachmann/Palin vs. beleaguered Blue Dog. The national press will eat this narrative up just like Fiorina vs. Boxer. Fancy pants East Coast reporters will come to South Dakota, buy sandwiches, and increase local sales tax revenue.
  8. Had Nelson won, he would have toned down the his tea party pandering, returned to his normal mild-mannered self, and played to the middle. Noem is going to fly that tea party flag... and I will have heap big fun blogging about it.
  9. Farm subsidies.
  10. Two ladies running for South Dakota's House seat—that's a first! And now we won't hear any baloney from the fundie yahoos saying a woman's place is at home raising the kids.


  1. Cory,

    Regarding your last point about women being home raising kids. Republicans made a firm statement a women's place is in the House, Senate and Governor's Chair.

    To name a few that come to mind:

    Governor: California, New Mexico, Nevada, South Carolina

    House: South Dakota

    Senate: California, Nevada, Colorado, Connecticut, New Hampshire

    In the 36 Senate races this year, at least 31 of the candidates have been women, though some have already lost their primary bids, according to the Center for American Women and Politics at Rutgers University. More of those candidates were Republicans. In addition to the number of female incumbents defending their seats in the House, 106 women entered the race this year as challengers, 60 of them Republican, according to the center. Dozens of women have also entered the 36 gubernatorial races under way.

  2. For November, I predict:

    Kristi Noem = 52%
    Stephanie Herseth-Sandlin = 48%

  3. Herseth gets a pass from Madville on farm subsidies? The Herseth family has received almost 1 million dollars.

    Tim Higgins

  4. Tim, show me the link. I checked EWG, didn't see Herseth. I may have missed something. If it's there, I will post it... but I will also note that Herseth isn't the one saying government is bad and that the free market should rule everything. Noem, Bachmann, et al. taking subsidies is rank hypocrisy, man bites dog.

  5. Oh, and Troy: I included that last link for a reason, to specify exactly the anti-woman rhetoric leveled against SHS in 2008 that raised my hackles. I hope Republicans will continue the firm statements you cite to prevent such discriminatory thinking from creeping into political races ever again.

    Stan, I can't even get the prediction right 24 hours before the vote. You're a braver prognosticator than I... and I still have a lot of campaigning to do to flip those numbers. Forward!


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