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Monday, June 14, 2010

Poll Results: Democrats Get out the Vote, Herseth Sandlin and Heidepriem Lead

Dems come out on top in the latest Madville Times poll! From Wednesday, June 9, until 9 a.m. this morning, I asked you to weigh in on the South Dakota races for Governor and U.S. House. Lots of you weighed in (thank you!):

For whom will you vote for SD governor?
  • Scott Heidepriem: 342 (54.5%)
  • Dennis Daugaard: 286 (45.5%)
  • Total: 628
For whom will you vote for SD Congresswoman?
  • Kristi Noem: 304 (43.7%)
  • Stephanie Herseth Sandlin: 391 (56.3%)
  • Total: 695
Derive predictions for November at your own peril. One interesting trend: the Congressional race drew more votes than the gubernatorial race. Even after I placed the Heidepriem–Daugaard race above the Noem-SHS race in the sidebar on Friday, visitors still had a tendency to skip the gov pick and go straight the House. That's an interesting non-overlap: a notable fraction of Noem and SHS partisans are not as fired up about their party's gubernatorial candidate.

Under normal circumstances, a top finish by the incumbent Congresswoman might not be noteworthy. But that a Democrat could poll above a Republican for governor may be.

The totals show one thing: folks haven't gone to the lake with Denny yet. In a fit of post-primary fervor, readers blew the doors off the previous Madville Times poll turnout record of 190. 695 voted on the House poll, 628 on the gub—wowza! Thanks for coming!

One anonymous commenter grumbled that an e-mail from SHS encouraging supporters to vote in this poll and three other online media polls made him lose respect for the Congresswoman. How dare she try to skew the results in her favor?

Ah, but stacking the polls is the game every candidate plays:

Facebook search showing Noem and Herseth Sandlin campaigns promoting Madville Times post-primary June 2010 poll
Search Facebook, and you find both House campaigns called on fans (Noem's on Thursday, SHS's on Friday) to stack the polls... just as they do at election time. Noem's people made the get-out-the-online-vote push first, surging at one point to a 70%-30% lead. I thought that might be a sign that Noem's people had more fire as they rode the high of Tuesday's upset victory. But Herseth Sandlin's supporters showed they aren't just sitting on their hands. Her campaign put out the word Friday, and over the weekend—the weekend, when we profligate Dems are all busy partying, right?—SHS supporters closed the gap.

Does this make the poll unscientific? You bet. But so are elections. So are baseball games. You can't tell from any one game which team is going to win the World Series... but you can get a picture of which team is fired up and ready to win.

In terms of marketing and organizing, online polls are a cheap way to get people involved. You send one e-mail. You ask supporters to click their mice three times (once on the link, once on your name, once on the "Submit Vote!" button). You give your people a fast, fun, interactive way to feel like they're helping the campaign. And you haven't spent a penny. Now people could get tired of repeated calls to online action (just as they get tired of folks hanging tags on their doorknob every day), but in moderation, pushing the online polls is just one more wise campaign tactic.

When Noem held the lead, one Noem supporter gloated that SHS was getting clobbered on "arguably the most liberal blogspot in the state." (Me, the most liberal? Really? Have you read Curtis Price? David Newquist? Travis Dahle and his cranky anonymous liberal friend?) That narrative will now shift to say, "Well, of course the Dems won. It's just a liberal blog." But anyone who checks the comment section will see my readers are far from an insular liberal clique.

Note also that the mainstream-media-hosted Red Blue & Purple is running the same poll. That blog has both liberal and conservative authors. On a more balanced blog, Heidepriem and Herseth Sandlin are swamping the GOP candidates (as of this morning writing) with vote totals nearing 80%.


  1. Ah Corey you blog is just a little biased. Check out the latest Rasmussen poll results posted at DWC

    Tim Higgins

  2. One thing we can be sure of - there will be polling this year!

    The truth is, Rep Herseth Sandlin is in big trouble, and it's her own fault.

    The tragedy is that her votes for torture, against decent health care for most people (ie well below median income), and her vocal support of the Blue Dogs as they have assisted a "just say no" minority keeping Congress from fixing the worst of the last decade's abuses are coming home to roost with Dems.

    She will have to prove to South Dakota Dems why exactly they are better off with her in the seat instead of her opponent.

    The questions I have:

    * Can Kristi Noem keep her mouth closed enough to avoid scaring the bejeesus out of the reality-based, and libertarian, voters of South Dakota?

    * Will Stephanie Herseth Sandlin's rediscovered interest in the hopes and dreams of the Democrats of South Dakota (not a small percentage of the electorate) save her from her long slide within her own party?

    It's going to be a very interesting summer.

  3. And thanks for the hat tip to Robbinsdale Radical. I've been getting a little more traffic recently ... I'm sure it's just because I'm reflected in your glow. (But the links probably don't hurt.)

  4. Can Noem keep her mouth shut? She's already flinging accusations she can't back up. And I read on Wikipedia that she was born in South Carolina. I don't know if that's true, but if it is, might it predispose her toward radical politics? ;-)

    But note: here we are talking about how SHS needs the other candidate to mess up. That's quite a change from the last two run-throughs. Ignore your base, and that's what you get.

    And always happy to share the love, Curtis. I am genuinely curious: which one of us is more liberal? Where do we find a doctor who could give us a fair diagnosis? :-)

    Now Larry Kurtz: there's a guy who out-liberals us all!

  5. CP. Steak supper wager that Noem beats the lovely lobbyist's wife & DD spanks elephant man. (loser also buys at least two fine droughts, preferably Blue Moon)

  6. (Note Stace's standard propagandist's tactic of referring to his favored candidates by name/initials while denigrating opponents by nickname.)

  7. Thank you for serving, Stace.

    ip has railed at great length at Max Sandlin's connection to ecoterrorism but not yet enough against the chemical cesspool that East River raises children in owed to the flagrant ethics for hire that the SDGOP has created through the Governors Club.

    South Dakota is broken and you're not going to fix it, Stace.


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