Call Kristi Noem Little Miss Sunshine: she sure knows how to turn a frown upside down! Or in this case, poll numbers.
The Republican candidate for South Dakota's lone U.S. House seat toots to her supporters that she's up-up-up! on the Talking Points Memo PollTracker.
Of course, if you look at the actual TPM data, you'll see Noem's interpretation has no validity whatsoever. Noem's "trend" requires including pre-primary polls, back when she was just one of three pretty faces on the Republican ballot. To suggest that you can compare polls conducted when the GOP had three choices with polls conducted when they have one candidate around whom to rally stretches credibility.
So, let's throw out the old oranges and just compare apples to fresh apples, shall we?
The only reasonably comparable data we have available are the two well-reported post-primary Rasmussen polls. Travis and I maintain our doubts about the polls, but if Noem wants to cite them, let's see what she has to work with. In June, Noem enjoyed an immediate primary victory bump and outpolled incumbent Democrat Stephanie Herseth Sandlin 53–41. Last week, Noem's lead dropped to 49–44, just outside the margin of error.
Two data points do not a trend make... but if Noem wants to talk trend, the only one I see is down for Noem, up for SHS (oh! and up for "Some other candidate", too, as 15 more people out of the 500 lucky Rasmussen robocall receivers decided they don't want either of the top gals).
And I would think an insurance agent would be better at math than that....
...not to mention better at proofreading her business's Facebook page.
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