Nielson Bros Polling: Trump increases lead, Ballot Measures Lose Ground

Trump increases lead, Ballot Measures Lose Ground


Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump widens his lead in the most recent Nielson Brothers Polling (NBP) South Dakota Survey (Nov. 1-2, 2016).  As undecided numbers drop, respondents are largely deciding against the various ballot initiatives and amendments in this survey.

Donald Trump leads Democratic challenger Hillary Clinton 52* to 36 percent (Libertarian Gary Johnson – 5 percent, Constitution Party candidate Darrell Castle – 2 percent, undecided – 6 percent).  In NBPs October survey Trump led Clinton 49 to 35 percent.  This November survey went into the field following James Comey’s letter to selected Republican House chairpersons.

Other statewide races show little change between the October and November NBP surveys. Incumbent US Senator John Thune’s support dropped a point, and he now leads Democratic challenger Jay Williams, 53 to 33 percent, with 14 percent undecided.

Incumbent US House member Kristi Noem’s lead over Democratic challenger Paula Hawks remains unchanged at 51 to 41 percent, with 8 percent undecided.

Public Utilities Commissioner incumbent Chris Nelson’s support increased one point. He now leads Democratic challenger Henry Red Cloud 56 to 28 percent, with 17 percent undecided.


Amendment T (redistricting authority moves from the state legislature to a nine person commission) has support drop from 42 percent in the October survey to 39 percent. Opposition climbs to 30 percent, compared with 27 percent in October. 31 percent remain undecided.

Initiated Measure 21 (limits annual loan rates for certain lenders at 36 percent)  has support increase two point to 41 percent in this survey, but opposition rises to 35 percent from 26 percent in October, with undecideds dropping to 24 percent from 36 percent.

Amendment V (removes candidate party affiliation except for president) which was holding even in the previous NBP survey, now has 42 percent of respondents saying they will vote against it (compared with 38 percent in the previous survey), 37 percent support it (compared with 38 percent), and 22 percent undecided.

Amendment U (allows unlimited interest rates for written loan agreements), drops a point to 23 percent of voters saying they will vote for it, while opposition rises from 45 to 51 percent, with 27 percent undecided.

Initiated Measure 23 (gives corporate and nonprofit organizations the right to charge a fee for any service they provide) has 20 percent support, 55 percent opposed, and 25 percent undecided.

Referred Law 20 (lowers the state youth minimum wage to $7. 50 an hour for non-tipped employees under age 18) has support rise by one point to 32 percent, as opposition rises two points to 53 percent, with 15 percent undecided.

The fate of each measure still depends in large part on the high numbers of undecided voters.


Former Democrat Knudson joins other liberals on Amendment V; in trying to strip party label off the fall ballot, and let the wealthy buy elections.

Former Chief of Staff For Bill Janklow and former Senate Majority Leader Dave Knudson announced his support of Amendment V today:

On a day in which the former Republican leader in the state Senate endorsed Amendment V, the state Republican Party announced that it was devoting tens of thousands to defeating the measure.

Dave Knudson, the former GOP leader in the Senate and the chief of staff to former Gov. Bill Janklow, announced his support for the amendment, which would create non-partisan elections in South Dakota by removing political party labels from ballots in county, state and federal elections. In the announcement, Knudson said he was worried that the partisanship exhibited in Washington, D.C. was seeping into the state Legislature.

“We must stop this troubling development,” Knudson said in the announcement.

Read that here.

What the article doesn’t mention is that Knudson is a former Democrat who switched his party, but not his views, to run for office. And he joins the other Democrats in pushing this measure to hid party labels and prevent independents from spilling the vote in the fall election by ensuring only the top two vote getters have an opportunity to appear on the fall ballot.

It’s a process which will shut out the grassroots, and only leave it open to the wealthy who can buy the most TV time. on March, April & may – a time when most haven’t even considered getting serious about the elections under the current system – extending races by months and months.

So, what else isn’t the press telling you about Amendment V?

  • As I’ve mentioned before, the Amendment V effort is funded by Enron billionaire John Arnold through his 501(c)(4) “Open Primaries” organization based in Manhattan
  •  –Arnold has “donated significant amounts to the Obama campaign and Democratic National Committee” [Houston Chronicle May 2, 2012]. And he’s no knight in shining armor. As I’ve noted, as detailed in Rolling Stone (September 26, 2013) on Arnold: In 2011, Pew began to align itself with a figure who was decidedly neither centrist nor nonpartisan: 39-year-old John Arnold, whom CNN/Money described (erroneously) as the “second-youngest self-made billionaire in America,” after Mark Zuckerberg. ….In the book [The Smartest Guys in the Room] that the [Enron] movie was based on, the authors portray Arnold bragging about his minions manipulating energy prices, praising them for “learning how to use the Enron bat to push around the market.” Those comments later earned Arnold visits from federal investigators, who let him get away with claiming he didn’t mean what he said. [Click here to read]
  • –“Open Primaries” is run by John Opdycke, a political operative for Lenora Fulani, the self-professed “fringe candidate” in New York who represented the Nation of Islam and Louis Farrakhan and the International Workers Party; the Legislative Director of “Open Primaries” is the self-professed “Democratic Party strategist” and union activist Al Benninghoff; the Communications person for “Open Primaries” is NARAL activist Zach Handler 
  • one of the biggest supporters of “Open Primaries” is Bernie Sanders 
  • –Getting back to South Dakota, and Dave Knudson above – Amendment V is being pushed by SD liberals –Tom Daschle, Tim Johnson, Pam Merchant, Drey Samuelson, Rick Weiland, Casey Murschel, Bernie Hunhoff, & Vernon Brown;
  • –and in addition to the New York billionaire, the other financial supporters of Amendment V are the political allies of Rick Weiland and Tim Johnson and labor unions.

If you’re thinking of voting yes on Amendment V, take a long look at the company you’d be keeping. Because it’s a dinner party for liberals and the wealthy to reshape the political system at whim, and cutting grassroots Republicans out of the process. Because they won’t be able to afford the price to play.  

Release: South Dakota GOP Joins Fight Against Amendment V’s Out-of-State Millions

sdgopSouth Dakota GOP Joins Fight Against Amendment V’s Out-of-State Millions

Pierre, SD – November 3, 2016 – South Dakota Republican Party Executive Director Ryan Budmayr announced that the South Dakota GOP is committing funds to combat the millions of dollars in dark, out-of-state money that has poured into South Dakota to support Amendment V.

“South Dakota’s Constitution is worth protecting from Amendment V’s out-of-state, anti- transparent attack. That’s why we are committing funds to support the local effort to combat this effort and encourage South Dakotans to Vote No on Amendment V,” said Budmayr.

The South Dakota Republican Party is committing $70,000 to Vote No On V, the local effort to oppose Amendment V. $70,000 represents around 6 percent of the amount contributed to push Amendment V by the out-of-state group Open Primaries. To date, this New York group has contributed more than $1.12 million to the effort to overhaul South Dakota’s Constitution. The South Dakota Republican Party, unlike Open Primaries, discloses the source of its funds.

“Our contribution may pale in comparison to the millions in out-of-state, special interest money given to push the measure, but we believe it will help to inform South Dakotans about Amendment V’s attempt to hide information from voters and make us more like California,” Budmayr added.

Following the pre-general campaign finance report, Proponents for V had raised more than $1.5 million. 85 percent of the funds raised to support Amendment V came from outside South Dakota.

No On V, the local effort to oppose the Constitutional change, had raised more than 99 percent from South Dakota donors.

In addition to the South Dakota Republican Party, the South Dakota Chamber of Commerce and Industry, the South Dakota Association of Cooperatives, South Dakota Farm Bureau, Governor Daugaard, Senator Thune, Senator Rounds and Congresswoman Noem have all joined to formally oppose this outside effort and encourage South Dakotans to Vote No on V. 

Contact Ryan Budmayr, Executive Director of the Republican Party, at 605-777-0467 with any questions.


Down to the wire State Senate Predictions. Dem’s take a hard hit, after an abysmal campaign effort.

It’s time for more armchair quarterbacking in the 2016 elections, as we take a shot at predicting the State Senate races from the hundred mile view. The big story in the Senate will be the hit that Democrats take in the campaign, as there’s practically no good news for them, and the potential for an even more historic low number of their group in the upper chamber.











Dem Over






GOP Over







People don’t elect people who want to raise their taxes. 






Tyler didn’t run 1/2 the race she had 2 years ago, and Wiik was prepared for a tough race he didn’t get. 




GOP Over






Incumbent v. unknwn






Tidemann was prepared, and Perpich did nothing, and will be rewarded accordingly. 






The word on the street is that Youngberg has this won. 






Replacement candidate who never took off. 






Challenger made effort, but Haggar should pull through fine. 






Cool never got hot. 






Curd is fine






Denny Pierson grasped at straws, but his days are long gone by. 






Swanger made effort, but Soholt knows how to campaign, and did so. 





Dem Over







Bolin is a campaign
machine. It’s over.






Rusch is well respected, and the incumbent. Merrill never gave a reason to replace him




Dem Over






One of most GOP districts in state






Berg made a few of us nervous early, but he was never more than a placeholder this time.





Dem Over







Is it a rule that Dem replacements are all mediocre?





GOP Over






GOP Over






Toss Up/Lead GOP

The only toss-up left. But, GOP has heavy voter advantage. Word is Barth isn’t confident.





Dem Over






Dem Over






GOP Over













LaRive must have escaped the last Democrat Bounty Hunt in Fall River
County. It’s over.





GOP Over







Solano has turned out to be a good competitor. Hubbard never had a chance.






Phil for the win. 











GOP Over


I’m going to optimistically predict that the Senate is going to come down to a 29-6 split, with Senate Dems consisting of Frerichs, Nesiba, Sutton, Heinert, Killer and Kennedy, dropping their numbers two as they lose seats they held centered around Madison/Flandreau and Milbank.

Admittedly, even if they can keep what they held in the 2015-2016 session, that’s only 8, which consigns them to near irrelevancy. That might be optimistic, but it’s the best they could possibly hope for, because the numbers are not in their favor.

Why is the outlook so bleak for South Dakota Democrats? First off, the South Dakota Democrat party has managed to coordinate the absolute worst effort for their legislative candidates that I think I’ve seen in nearly 30 years. It’s as if they absolutely abdicated their role as a political party, discarding it for – and it’s a familiar fault – concentrating on ballot issues. They put time and money into those issues while their efforts at candidate recruitment and funding floundered miserably.

As we come to the end of the 2016 election cycle, it’s all to evident that Ann Tornberg and Suzanne Jones Pranger have managed to take a vehicle already driven into the mud and encapsulated it even further in mediocrity. (So it is even more hopelessly stuck).  And that bodes poorly for Democrats as they get manicures in preparation of their biennial ritual of pointing fingers and blaming everything but the root cause of their failure – the inability to conduct themselves as a political party, find candidates for office, and help them to run competent campaigns.

As the first hints of dawn are approaching for 2018, when they need to start the whole thing over again in a campaign season where many statewide offices are going to be up for grabs, botching this election was a grevious error. And one that just put them that much farther back on having people queued up on the bench ready to join the big leagues.

Initiated Measure 22 would provide candidates a party. Not a political one, but a parrrtay!

Initiated Measure 22, Rick Weiland’s Politician Welfare act, helping to support those poor politicians by providing them taxpayer funded campaigns is not just a proposal in South Dakota. They have managed to pass taxpayer funded political campaigns in other areas.

So, what exactly would IM 22 bring South Dakotans political parties. But not the GOP/DEM type. The type with party beads, candy, and more. From the Maine Press-Herald:

“These may be legitimate campaign expenses, but it really doesn’t seem to be the best prioritization of taxpayer money to buy things like robocalls and junk mail,” Brakey said. He said that compared with traditionally financed candidates who collect most of their money from individual donors, those taking state funds for their campaigns can easily forget who is actually footing the bill.


Dunlap, a traditionally financed candidate, is running against Saviello again. She has raised just $750, with $700 of that coming from a donation she made to her own campaign. And according to Dunlap’s most recent campaign finance reports, she has spent just over $59 on supplies for a get-out-the-vote headquarters in Rangeley. That left her with $139 to spend as of Oct. 25.

Saviello, by contrast – and within the rules of the program – has collected $62,000 of public campaign cash, spending $43,083 on his campaign, including $213 for party beads to toss out during a parade and $88 for candy.

Saviello said Wednesday he follows the rules, and that he can’t take re-election for granted.

“The first time you make an assumption like that you’re dead in the water,” said Saviello, who is seeking a fourth term. He said he has always thrown out party beads during parades, and noted that other politicians give out little American flags that are often left behind on the ground after a parade. “And that doesn’t seem right to me, either,” he said.

Saviello also has used his public funds to equip a campaign office and staff it with volunteers, which he said he did to ensure he’s doing his homework and is prepared to counter any last-minute political maneuvers by his opponent or her supporters.


Read it all here.

So, if you want taxpayers to foot the bill for tools, Chinese takeout, and party beads, by all means, pass IM 22.

If you think candidates can pay for themselves, then you should probably VOTE NO on the Politician Welfare Measure, IM 22.

“The Green Bay Packers never lost a game. They just ran out of time.” (Vince Lombardi)

Three nights ago, the Cleveland Indians were up 3 games to 1 on the Chicago Cubs and I pretty much counted them out. As a Twins/Nationals/Rockies fan, I really don’t have a dog in the fight. But, I love baseball so I’m still interested and will watch the game tonight.

Yes, the Cubs had two better pitchers scheduled in games #5 & #6 but not so much better it was a slam-dunk they’d win these two must-win games. And, for the 7th game, the Indians have the better pitcher scheduled on the mound. Three nights ago, Vegas oddsmakers gave the Cubs about a 15% chance of winning the World Series. Now, after winning two games in a row (25% chance they would win both games), the oddsmakers have the Cubs at a 45% chance of being the World Champions. It’s game on!!

Three weeks ago, the Billy Bush/Donald Trump tape came out and I begged for Trump to drop out and let us take our chances with Mike Pence. When the tape came out, Nate Silver handicapped Trumps chances at less than 15% (roughly equivalent to the Cubs odds three nights ago). Personally, I thought it was high. I reacted as I did with the Cubs and said “game over.” I almost entitled this thread “To win, you’ve got to stay in the game” (Claude Bristol). NOT!

Five things have happened in the last week which I didn’t expect (could have also entitled this “Skip, what are we gonna do about those numbers? They suck.” from the movie Perfect Storm):

1) The Wikileaks released emails provide a smoking gun on how the Clintons parlayed the Office of the Secretary of State to enrich the Clinton personally to the tune of what could be over $50 million. This is what I think is most significant because it goes beyond being a political fibber (the public seems to expect or at least tolerate political fibbing) who spins everything or says anything to curry favor with the voters. Personal graft and enrichment is beyond acceptable to a very large segment of the voting public.

2) This is what I think should have been the most insignificant. The FBI informed Congress they were re-opening the investigation into Hillary’s use of a private server. Comey said he’d keep Congress informed if he got new information. He got new information. And, he was clear he didn’t know if the information was significant and would report back. Should have been the end of the story.

3) Hillary totally badly muffed her reaction. She should have said, “Director Comey has a job to do and is accountable to both the President and Congress. I’m confident when they get through the new information the conclusion of a few months ago will be confirmed. Director Comey is an honorable public servant.” This response would have given the impression she was truly confident there is “nothing new” and would have matched her words “there is nothing there.” Additionally, it would have reinforced her earlier praise of Director Comey. Instead, the disconnects were palpable. She basically violated the Cardinal Rule of corporate crisis management. Twice. And reinforced she might not be trustworthy, her biggest weakness.

4) The Press went bonkers on the letter which belied how much they are in the tank for Hillary and it reinforced Trump’s message the system is rigged.

5) After watching great points and positions get lost in too many shallow bromides or distracting ramblings, Trump got on message AND presented it concisely and cogently. On Monday, Trump and Pence laid out a powerful case for a Trump Presidency, in particular replacing Obamacare and how his economic plan serves the interests of ALL Americans in ALL walks of life. It was so moving, I almost drove to Canton to vote just in case I got hit by a bus between then and Election Day. Frankly, I think this might in the end be more significant than even #1 above.

Today, Nate Silver updated his handicapping of the President race Trump a 30% chance of winning (assumed Hillary leading in the polls by 4%). He also did an analysis which assumes Hillary is leading by 2%. While he didn’t complete the math, I did and and a 2% Hillary leads changes the odds of Trump winning to slightly above 40%. Nate Silver’s latest analysis can be read here

Personally, I think Silver’s methodology masks a slight hidden disadvantage for Trump. Before the polls started to move last week, 20% of the votes were cast via early voting and Hillary was ahead by roughly 5%. Assuming early votes reflected the national position, Hillary has banked what translates into a 1% advantage. Trump has to move the population past even and make-up this 1% disadvantage.

Well folks, the current race has Trump behind less than 2% and he clearly has the momentum. A few weeks ago, he was down 7%, narrowed it to 5.4%, and it is now under 2%.

Whether he can continue to move the voting public or there is enough people open to being moved, I don’t know. But, it appears Hillary doesn’t have the game to stop the momentum. Her recent acts of desperation, including bringing back Alicia Machado to the forefront, aren’t gonna get the job done.

The Cubs know they have at least 9 innings and maybe more.

Donald Trump is behind and has six more days and nothing more. I hope its enough time and Trump/Pence uses the time well.

There is a chance and its no longer a long-shot.

UPDATE: Cubs win. Trump do the “impossible” too? Well, Hillary seems intent on muffing again.

Out of State group literally trying to buy election when it comes to Amendment V

From KELOland comes the story on how the liberal out-of-state interests have done their darnedest to try to but the election on Amendment V – Putting nearly 1.3 MILLION into the ballot measure which would hide party affiliation on the ballot, and to eliminate independents from the fall election:

The campaign finance report — filed with the Secretary of State’s office for “Yes on V” — shows a massive amount of money coming from out of state, $1.3 million.

Those against the measure say that money is evidence that V is an out of state plan that’s wrong for South Dakota.


According to finance reports, the Yes on V group — which supports those changes — has taken in a lot of out-of-state money. More than $1 million came from an organization called ‘Open Primaries.’

“This donor does not disclose their contributors. It’s a dark money organization and they want to come in and buy a policy that would keep you in the dark,” chairman of Vote No on V Will Mortenson said.

Read it all here.

And if you want to look at it yourself…

Vote Yes on V by Pat Powers on Scribd