Release – Clout Research Poll claims South Dakota GOPers Favor Noem for Governor

From my mailbox, from Ohio polling firm Clout Research:


APRIL 25, 2018 – A new survey of likely GOP Primary voters statewide in South Dakota shows that in the race for Governor, Congresswoman Kristi Noem is on track to win her party’s nomination on June 5th.

An initial ballot reveals the Congresswoman outperforms Marty Jackley with a four-point lead on the ballot (41%/37%) with 22% still undecided.  But when likely voters who are “soft supporters”, or “leaners”, were added to the ballot test, Ms. Noem’s margin grew substantially to a 12-point advantage, leading Mr. Jackley, 49% to 37%. It is notable that 32% say they are firm in their support for Noem, compared to only 27% who are firm for Jackley.

The primary electorate in South Dakota is very familiar with both Congresswoman Noem, and state Attorney General Marty Jackley. Both candidates are seen with largely favorable eyes by GOP voters, with 77% favorable toward Mr. Jackley, and 73% favorable toward Cong. Noem. Ms. Noem’s favs are slightly stronger, however, as nearly 47% said they had a “very favorable” opinion of the Congresswoman.

Despite Mr. Jackley’s positive image, the ballot strongly leans toward Cong. Noem, suggesting that it will take a great deal in the way of Jackley resources to overcome the deficit in the final stretches of the campaign.

One especially notable number is voter perception of the job performance of President Trump among South Dakota Republicans. The President has an extremely positive job performance rating of 75% overall, with 9% saying they give him “only fair” marks, and just under 15% saying he’s done a “poor” job thus far.  Significantly, nearly 50% award the President with “excellent” marks for his first year and a half in office.

During what is sure to be the most intense period of paid media for this campaign, candidates who are seen by voters to be aligned with the President will have much to gain.

Among those voters who give President Trump “excellent” marks for his job performance thus far, 56% favor Ms. Noem in the race for governor. Mr. Jackley wins just 30% support among that group. She leads by a similar margin among those voters who give Trump the slightly lower job performance rating of “good”.

Among undecided voters in the race for governor, 74% give Trump positive marks on his leadership of the nation, another indication they may well fall in with Ms. Noem when they eventually decide whom to support in the race for governor.

One other point of interest is where voters are lining up on the Second Amendment, in the aftermath of the tragic Florida school shooting. Among “Strong Second Amendment” voters, Cong. Noem leads Jackley by a wide margin, 46% to 32%. Whereas Mr. Jackley has found a following among those who favor repeal of the Second Amendment, with 53% of that very small demographic group supporting his candidacy. Among leaners, the gap is more pronounced, with 18% of those who lean toward Ms. Noem identifying as strong Second Amendment voters, compared with only 6.7% of those same voters leaning toward Mr. Jackley.

It’s worth noting that fully 65% of those voters identifying as “undecided” also identify as “strong Second Amendment” voters. If past is prologue, these voters will likely fall into Ms. Noem’s camp by a double-digit advantage.

In conclusion, as the race for the GOP nomination for Governor in South Dakota enters the final stretch, it seems apparent that Congresswoman Noem is in the strongest position both on the ballot and among those voters who make up the core and backbone of the South Dakota GOP electorate. With the likelihood that spending in this race will increase substantially over the next several weeks, Mr. Jackley will have a lot to overcome to win over undecideds and primary voters whose profile seems to align much more closely with Ms. Noem.

The poll provides an accompanying topline report as well as a survey memorandum.

36 Replies to “Release – Clout Research Poll claims South Dakota GOPers Favor Noem for Governor”

  1. Dave

    Holy smokes – the head to head shows a statistically tied race within margin of error. The most recent poll released showed Noem up 11 points so Jackley has surged over the past two weeks

  2. Anonymous

    Kinda like watching them fancy ads. If we see em enough, we’ll actually believe she cut spending, defunded plant parenthood, rid obamacare and balanced the budget over the last eight years.

    Mind gamers, those DC consultants.

    With 100% name i.d. and 22% undecided, I’d be nervous too.

    1. Anonymous

      Good point. She does have 100% name ID.

      What is Jackley’s? I’m guessing high but that doesn’t mean most SD voters know him. Because this is really his first race.

    2. Anonymous

      Yeah I don’t think she cut spending by as much as she wanted but she did vote against Trumps’ bloated budget despite having great support for our President. She also made it possible for individual states to defund PP. As for getting rid of Obamacare and balancing the budget, she’s voted in favor of both but in Congress one person only has so much power. As Governor she will be a total rockstar. Exactly what our state needs. I like that Jackley has a firm front on drug crime, but I’ve never once trusted a lawyer and never once regretted it.

      1. Anonymous

        Can you explain your last sentence? the first part actually…

        I like that Jackley has a firm front on drug crime,

  3. Troy Jones

    First, I am truly undecided. I would have early voted for Mayor and primary by now but for this race.

    Second, I do not believe this poll tells us anything meaningful.

    A). It states clearly only 59% of likely voters are firm.
    B). It states clearly both are well thought of. It is likely much of the “firm” are from those who don’t like the other.

    Third, it is clearly Noem affiliated.

    A). 32% are firm for Noem but ONLY (emphasis added) 27% firm for Jackley. The difference is in reality deminimus and not “notable” as it says.

    B). And this is what ticks me off and may tilt me to Jackley. The entire slimy attempt to link Jackley to the repeal of the 2nd Amendment is disgusting. The more I right the more likely I will vote for Jackley. IN FACT, I DECLARE IF THE ELECTION WERE HELD TODAY, I AM VOTING FOR JACKLEY.

    The only way I reconsider I see hard evidence Noem opposes this sliminess. Otherwise she is not the person she claims to be.

    1. Anonymous

      Troy, So you want Noem to denounce a poll that favors her? As no one in the public would get her denouncing a sub part to a poll…the headlines would eat that up. I get your point…but it would mean more if this was something coming out of her campaign..not a 3rd party source…follow my logic?

      1. Troy Jones

        Yes. It is clearly pro-Noem. She is either slimy or she will give Jackley credit for being Pro-2nd Amendment. Opportunities to show who one is come out in surprising places.

        1. anonymous

          Poorly stated Troy. After 4 years in the SD Legislature, 8 years in the U.S. Congress, and 6 state wide elections, I have never heard the word slimy to describe Kristi Noem. In fact her reputation is the exact opposite, a Congresswoman that is very popular, influential, and if she gives you her word you can count on it. You really do not sound like you are undecided.

      2. Anonymous

        Troy makes a good point about the poll trying to make Jackley look anti gun. Who are those Republicans? Even De Knudson is probably pro gun. So who is a Republican and anti gun?

        Troy caught them in the act again.
        The difference is also it’s a close race. Much closer than I think any of us would have said November of 2016.

    2. A

      Well said Troy. The press release makes it obvious this is not an independent poll and the outrageous claims it makes are slimy

  4. The Sage

    How can we tell Jackley is winning? Noem-affiliated polls keep being released with press releases trying too hard to spin Noem’s narrative and trying to push the Jackley campaign into reacting. Jackley’s gonna have to go negative. Jackley’s popular with the 2nd amendment repealers. Jackley better cozy up to Trump.

    What Jackley is doing has Noem very, very worried to pull this kind of stuff. Congress is unpopular and ineffective, and Noem knows she has an uphill battle on her hands. My prediction: Jackley by 8.

      1. KM

        Jackley may not have won any polls, but each day brings more endorsements for him. We too are undecided and will not vote early. However, because of our annoyance with her “green” energy support, we’re leaning Jackley.

      2. Anonymous

        Chamber of Commerce:
        Jackley- 60%
        Noem- 23%
        Billie Sutton- 17%

        State Fair Poll- (1700 republican ballots cast, mainly from the area that made up Noem’s former congressional district)

        Jackley- 58%
        Noem- 41%
        Hubbel/LaFleur- 1%

        It’s pretty clear that you’re not paying attention

          1. Anonymous

            “Real people voting in a poll mediated by a neutral third party? Pshhhwho needs ‘em! I’ve got sketchy numbers that confirm by biases!” Is a dumb take and you should feel dumb.

  5. Troy Jones


    If what you say is true, she will have no problem repudiating the ridiculous innuendo Jackley is anti2nd Amendment. And, you are right. I am no longer undecided.

    But, if you doubt I didn’t lean Noem for a long time, I can give you a long list of Jackley supporters who tried to convince me.

  6. Anonymous

    Wow. Marty must not be having an event anywhere tonight, because all the Jackley trolls are busy spinning yarns here tonight. Sorry, but all the wishing in the world won’t get Marty elected. He will be lucky to keep his loss in the single digits, but that looks more doubtful each day.

  7. Anono

    Your link provides no evidence that Clout is bogus. They look like a legitimate polling firm. Now, what we don’t know despite allegations and accusations is who paid for the poll or their precise methodology. But again, I don’t think there is any reason to doubt their numbers, I’m not sure anyone expected this race to NOT be close. This race comes down to who best executes message over the next 5 weeks.

  8. Troy Jones


    I agree. They appear to be a legitimate polling firm that does good work. I think the results look reasonable to me. Especially the reality that 41% of Republicans are not firmly in one camp or not. Most Republicans hold them both in high regard and believe they have done great jobs where they are. In fact, if I’m surprised about anything is that 59% are firm.

    That said, the poll release is accompanied with certain verbiage that makes it very clear it is a poll directly affiliated with the Noem campaign. And, that is my rub: It makes a blatant (but weak and sophomoric) attempt to infer Marty is soft on the 2nd Amendment. That is a lie. It’s not hyperbole. It’s not stretching the truth. It is a bald-faced lie. As far as I’m concerned, she has an opportunity to define for me what kind of a person she is.

    Now that said, I want to say I know people who know Noem well and have worked with her. They disagree with my characterization she is slimy. But, here is my deal: Integrity is you stick to your values at all times in all situations. Yes, if you are in a battle it can get messy. But, even in war there are rules such as you don’t summarily shoot captives who have surrendered.

    I’m ok with both candidates playing hard. I know sometimes there will be hyperbole, spin and stretching of the truth. It is like disinformation in war to get your opponent to defend on part of the river when you are crossing another. I’m not naive or a Puritan with regard to campaign tactics. However, in my mind, inferring Jackley is weak on the 2nd Amendment crosses the line. In a Republican primary, it is a tactic similar to decimation (look up its use during Roman times).

    It is my personal Rubicon. If she doesn’t pull back, I’m voting Jackley. Yes, I’m one vote. I’m sure a single vote won’t matter in the end to the results. But, it matters to me.

    1. WD

      Come on, Troy. Suck it up. It’s just part of the poll. It shows that voters believe Kristi is slightly stronger on the 2nd amendment; not that Jackley is weak, just weaker than Kristi.

      “Slimy” is not an adjective repeatedly used by undecided voters.

      1. Troy Jones

        I used a similar pegorative regarding Jackley’s clean campaign pledge. Don’t remember what it was but it sparked a phone call from one of his supporters. As I said to them and now, I saw what I mean.

  9. Troy Jones


    Assuming you are a Jackley supporter, you might want to leave enough alone as YOU are doing just what I’m upset with on the other side. You are WHOLLY misrepresenting their assertion they have quality phone numbers by saying they are friendly. For instance, a 605 number tied to a person who actually is registered and votes is worth more than relying on the respondent saying they are registered and vote.

    1. Troy Jones

      P.S. Clout showed their integrity by how they tried their best to qualify the attempt to charge Jackley with being soft on guns. Unless Noem repudiates, it is clear the attempt to smear was a direction of her campaign.

  10. anono

    the link to the topline report is not working. Can you relink that or is it a problem with the destination?

  11. Troy Jones

    Randy, if being a major firm recognized by Nate Silver is a criteria for credibility for you, ignore them. I think their numbers look reasonable to me, especially those that are firm and I wouldn’t be surprised if that is good snapshot of where things are right now. But, your statements impugning Clout belie a lack of depth on what makes a reputable poll and reputable polling firm as neither your comments are relevant.

  12. Troy Jones


    Your problem is you want to argue with me. Getting reliable polling results is about methodology and application of methodology. Reliable polling results isn’t affected by who pays for the poll nor who does it.

    1) Nothing you have said is an argument that is prima facie either this poll or this firm is suspect.

    2) Nor have you said anything which says they used poor methodology or not apply good methodology in this poll.

    3) You said without any proof they are selective about who they poll to get a particular result and reference their website. The closest I could find on their website from which to makes such an assertion is related to their manner of who they call. However, your representation is wholly a misrepresentation and exactly the opposite of what that means, as it is standard procedure/expecation of good methodology.

    4) You then said you discredit them because they aren’t on Nate Silver’s list. Fine ignore them. I don’t make such judgments but I don’t care you do.

    5) So you disagree that I see nothing on the surface which disqualifies Clout or these results. I’m ok with that. I’m ok with others agreeing with you. Are you emotionally unable to handle people disagreeing with you?

    6) You think it substantive they are a C- rated firm by Five Thirty Eight. I do not. While I greatly respect 538, the methodology of 538 is biased against smaller firms and 538 admits it because of hte heavy emphasis on measuring how accurate the poll represented final results. Small firms like Clout don’t measure up to election day and don’t as often release them if they do. Firms like Clout gather good information to be used by the campaign to direct messaging and other strategies from the time the poll is taken until election day. Their primary objective is not predictive of actual results.

    Finally, you might think these numbers aren’t accurate. You might be right. Its really not that critical. Both candidates have a lot of work to do between now and the election day. That is the poll the tcoiunts.

  13. First Time Comment

    Way too much desperation from Troy Jones. I thought name calling and not taking personal responsibility were democrat tactics. If Jackley appears soft on guns don’t blame that on Kristi. We all know she is solid and uses common sense over lawyer tactics. We know she supports what’s best for South Dakotans, even if she’s not 100 percent with Rounds or Thune or even the President for that matter. The only reason people are undecided is because they don’t know them both. Knowing them both quite well makes it a no brainier. She has a voting record that is very good while Jackley has none. When Trey Gowdy has the utmost respect for her, that’s HUGE. There’s not enough time or space to list how much she has the superior qualities for governor. I don’t think all of these false allegations against her help MJ at all. Jackley has done some things that prove he doesn’t have the integrity needed to be South Dakota’s governor. Even a below average candidate like Billy Sutton will defeat the lackluster Marty Jackley in the general as people are tiring of the Good Ol Boys in Pierre. This is my first time commenting because of reading comments from this Troy Jones. If this kind of person is supporting Jackley, it would surely tip me toward Kristi as an undecided. Thanks for the confirmation, Troy.

    1. Anonymous

      Nationally, opinion on Gowdy has changed over the past few years. Gowdy is the very definition of a blowhard. He talks a great game, but has accomplished even less during his time in DC than Noem. Lots of “investigations”. No results.


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