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Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Daugaard Near Sweep; South Dakota Northwest Is Munsterman Country!

Dennis Daugaard won over 50% in a five-man primary last night. Dennis is the big dog.

Daugaard won 59 counties. Where didn't he win?
Secretary Nelson's map shows Scott Munsterman (blue) won his home county of Brookings. In the most interesting geographical note of the primary, he also won the far northwest corner of the state. Harding, Perkins, Corson, and Ziebach: all Munsterman country... representing 1.3% of the state population. Did Munsterman win the great Northwest simply by showing up? Did he campaign there earlier and harder? I've lived in the Lemmon–Bison metroplex, and it isn't exactly the place where I'd think a fancy-pants college-town mayor would light up the crowd. Readers, your explanations for Munsterman's amazing island of support are welcome.

In Shannon County, 56 registered Republicans showed up at the polls and gave Ken Knuppe (green) his single county victory of the night. He beat Daugaard there 27% to 24%. Is his neighboring home county of Custer, Knuppe came in fourth, with 15%, behind Daugaard, Howie, and Munsterman.

Only one county went for Gordon Howie (yellow). Todd County tilted for Howie, giving him 37% over Daugaard's 34%. Howie broke 20% in only six other counties: Meade, Jackson, Harding, Fall River, Custer, Bennett. In his home county of Pennington, where he owes his neighbors $57K in property taxes, Howie got under 19%, second to Daugaard's almost 47% and just barely better than the local paper's endorsee Knudson.


  1. A lot of dissatisfaction with the current administration, but I believe that Munsterman's message and vision had more to with his success. I pointed out on another blog that we are very small in population and very similar to South Dakota compared to the rest of the United States. We may only be 1.3% of the state's population, but South Dakota is only .26% of the U.S. Population. My point? I would like to see leaders treat northwest South Dakota like we would like to see South Dakota treated by the rest of the country. Scott Munsterman was offering just that.

  2. Interesting points, Shane. That still leaves the question: if Munsterman did have a compelling vision, why did that vision catch on in your neighborhood, in that unusual concentration of four counties, and not anywhere else outside Munsterman's home? Did he come to Lemmon more often than the other candidates? What's the explanation? I'm genuinely curious!

  3. This is absolutely fascinating. Thanks for posting it. Like you, I really want to know how he carried counties way at the other end of the State.

    Thanks, Shane Penfield, for that interesting analogy. Living here in Sioux Falls, I've heard folks from places much closer, like Huron, express the feeling of being a flyover within a flyover.

    Think of how Madison might be marginalized if not for Cory... and the space aliens who hide in Lake Herman.

  4. Great analysis, Shane. Munsterman's vision and successful experience was compelling. Daugaard would be wise to offer him the second chair. Such a pairing could be interpreted as a clearer signal of a changed direction in state governance and leadership while battening down criticism of a coronation.
    John Kelley

  5. Scott did make several stops in Perkins County and that of course helped. Issues concerning the brand board, GF&P (including taking away a state trapper and moving the position to the eastern part of the state) and just plain being ignored also contributed. The National Guard being pulled out of Lemmon may have been a rallying cry for others. It's more than the fact that the guard was removed; when the mayor and a number of business leaders (including many loyal Republicans) sent a letter to the Governor's Office it did not even receive the dignity of a response. We would have even appreciated a "go fly a kite" letter. There was absolutely no response from the Governor's office. When we brought a bill before the Senate to save the Guard I found it interesting that Scott Heideprim and Nancy Turback were our greatest supporters. We lost on a primarily party line vote. It doesn't make much sense to this life-long Republican to keep voting for the establishment candidate when they treat my loyal Republican county worse than a perennial Democrat-leaning county.

  6. The armory issue—ah! Now that one makes sense. Brand board and GF&P could have gotten Munsterman support in other areas (and maybe did), but the armory issue helps distinguish those four counties that showed unique support for Munsterman by giving him first place. Thank you, Shane, for that perspective! (And remember Heidepriem's support come November! ;-) )


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