South Dakota: You like Republican Congressman Dusty Johnson. You really, really like him.
How do I know this? Because that’s what at least one survey says about the freshman Congressman’s impression on South Dakotans. I managed to get a copy of a memo from Moore Information Group on a survey conducted in South Dakota this past October from a Moore Information Group telephone survey of 500 South Dakotans including both landline and cell phones – via a live interview method.
The Dusty Johnson love-fest gets even more intense when you start drilling down past South Dakotans and get among his fellow Republicans.
The poll notes “Today 58% of all Republicans say they have a favorable view of him while only 13% view him unfavorably and among Conservatives 58% view him favorably and just 13% view him unfavorably. Nonetheless, these positive numbers among voters of all political stripes is impressive at a time of intense partisanship nationally” – giving Johnson a fairly significant approval rating of +45% in his own party.
Excluding those who don’t have an opinion, for Republicans who express an opinion of liking or disliking Dusty… that’s around 81-82% who like him. And that can’t be good news for any potential GOP challengers who think they might be able to make any headway.
In fact, in looking at possible opponent Neal Tapio, who has been making some noise about taking on Dusty Johnson, with Neal trying to use his past affiliation for the Trump campaign against Dusty, the news gets even worse.
Among those voters who approve of Trumps job performance, Dusty’s net approval is +44%. Only one percent off of his net approval among Republicans overall. The difference between Trump supporters who love Dusty and Republican supporters who love Dusty is within the margin of error for the poll.
If Neal thinks he can find Republican Trump supporters who don’t like Dusty to support a challenger campaign, he might be in for a tough go of it. Because while there might be a couple chirping on Facebook, at least according to this poll, they’re statistically non-existent in South Dakota.
As the poll notes, “Johnson’s numbers, while very strong with his base are also solid with other voters in South Dakota, no small feat in the current political climate.” And that spells trouble for anyone thinking they’re going to challenge him.
It’s just a snapshot in time, but those seeking to challenge Dusty for the Congressional seat from either within the GOP or outside of it should pay great heed. Because they have a tremendous amount of distance to make up, and South Dakota has some big love for the man in the orange tie.