Journalists, start your spell-checkers!
Five men are running for the South Dakota Republicans gubernatorial nomination. The SD-GOP votes tomorrow. Dennis Daugaard will win that vote.
My vote predictions:
That also means I think there's a 2.3% chance that Daugaard will draw less than 35% of the vote tomorrow, which is the only circumstance under which any of the fellas vying for second place get a swing at Daugaard in a runoff. Run-off? Hardly.
How do I calculate these numbers? Pure vibe. But here's what generates that vibe:
Efforts to craft an upset narrative acknowledge Daugaard's frontrunner status while ignoring why he has it. He's been winning buy-in from Republican stakeholders by fundraising since 2007. He's got plenty of that money left to go to war with the Dems right away on June 9. He's the lieutenant to one of the most popular sitting governors in the country. That approval is going to be even higher among Republicans... and they're the folks making the choice tomorrow. Shout something about Daugaard being four more years of Rounds, and the folks voting tomorrow are more likely to say, "Cool!"
(Daugaard also has the best story and the best face of the bunch. If he grew Knuppe's mustache, I'd switch registration. Hubba, hubba.)
Joel Rosenthal likes Dave Knudson's ads. Mr. Rosenthal's commentary reminds me of the very different political world I live in. Thanks to the glory of the digital conversion, we no longer receive commercial TV. My picture of the political world is thus very different. I might see an ad once, if someone points it out to me on YouTube, but then it's gone, and I'm back to reading the news and the blogs. The only thing I've read indicating Knudson has made progress with voters is the May Rasmussen poll that shows Knudson and Daugaard as the only Republicans who poll stronger than Democratic challenger Scott Heidepriem.
The Munsterman wave is alive and well... in the imaginations of the pro-Munsterman blogosphere. Pat Powers insists that big media support for Knudson "continues Daugaard's rapid erosion of voters." Various commenters offer lots of "everyone I talk to likes Munsterman" talk. "Everyone I talk to" is the perfect introduction to the self-selecting and thus invalid sample. I have yet to hear any objective evidence from any objective observer that Munsterman or anyone else is putting a dent in Daugaard's support.
Journalist Bob Mercer does entertain the Munsterman question. He says any purported Munsterman surge is either a hoax or "the greatest stealth groundswell of modern times in South Dakota politics." Mercer says Team Munsterman will be seen as "the pre-eminent grassroots geniuses" of South Dakota politics "if their talk comes true." Given Mercer's opinion of blogs versus good newspapers, I suspect that when he uses genius and blogger in the same sentence, he's joking.
Alas, Gordon Howie doesn't stand a chance. I say alas, because he is the candidate Scott Heidepriem could most handily destroy in November. Howie epitomizes all the reasons the Tea Party can't govern. He thought he saw a big wave coming, he grabbed his surfboard and leapt into the water... but he forgot to tie his swim trunks. And now he's caught in low tide with his tax pants down, behind $58,000 on his property taxes thanks to irresponsible land speculation.
Ken Knuppe failed to transform himself from dark horse to race horse. As a rancher never before elected to public office, he had the best chance to capitalize on any anti-insider sentiment. but he never built the campaign machine or momentum to establish himself in the public consciousness as a viable alternative or an embodiment of any new vision or policy direction folks might be looking for.
I stand by my numbers. Daugaard's going to win tomorrow and rumble hard with Heidepriem.
Republicans, feel free to prove me wrong me at the polls.
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