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Sunday, September 12, 2010

Rasmussen: Dems Uniting for Herseth Sandlin, GOP Splitting from Noem

South Dakota's Republican candidate for U.S. House, Kristi Noem, suffered a remarkable reversal in the Republican-run Rasmussen Reports September poll. While Noem's campaign manager looks up momentum in the dictionary (or is he searching CareerBuilder.com?), consider these numbers:
  1. In the July poll and the August poll, incumbent Democratic Congresswoman Stephanie Herseth Sandlin and Noem each held about 3/4 of the vote from members of their own party. In the September poll, Herseth Sandlin's in party support rises to 82%, while Noem's drops to 66%.
  2. In July, Noem beat SHS among indies 50-35. In the August poll, Noem's indie advantage was nearly two-to-one. The September poll shows Herseth Sandlin now leading slightly among indies.
If you believe, like Noem, in Rasmussen and one-month "trends," the above numbers suggest the following conclusions:
  1. Noem's bad debating, habitual lawbreaking, and tone-deaf arrogance and persistent excuses are making her base nervous.
  2. South Dakota Dems are defying their fractious nature and uniting behind Herseth Sandlin.
  3. Now that folks are paying attention, the honeymoon with Independents is over.
  4. Senator Al Franken comes to South Dakota, points out the obvious logical conclusion of Noem's Pelosi line, and SHS takes the lead. Either Franken really is a genius, or Team Kristi is so inept that it swamped Franken's supposed gaffe, which promised plenty of propaganda mileage, with its own ineptitude.


  1. Cory,

    With regard to your #1 comment, I will agree that Noem's allowing the ticket issue to stay alive hurt her with her base. I disagree she debated bad (we've had this discussion) or she is arrogant. Only naive in allowing this issue to stay alive.

    With regard to #2, I agree. SHS has done a good job uniting her base.

    With regard to #3, you better hope Marking stays in. He gives those who want to protest vote SHS (nature of being the incumbent) an alternative to voting for Noem.

    With regard to #4, Franken's mistep was overshadowed by SHS's successful attempt to change the debate. Noem's people did mess up. But, campaigns ebb and flow and I'd much rather the campaign get some hair in early September and not late October. If they learned from this mistake and poll, Noem will recover. I believe SHS's inability to get to 50% makes her vulnerable.

  2. You know, Troy, I think I can agree with most of your points. SHS is outcampaigning Noem right now... but yes, much can change in the remaining seven weeks. But Noem will only recover if she and her team learn from these mistakes rather than persisting in them.

    And I'm definitely not celebrating being under 50%. I never celebrate until I'm past the finish line. Small comfort: I'd rather things stay tight and our side keep fighting hard rather than getting any sense of complacency. Plus, as long as SHS stays under 50%, I can say to her, "See, that tacking right and repudiating health care and cap-and-trade isn't working! As Ken Greeno would say, run hard, turn left!" ;-)


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