SD GOP straw poll foreshadows national polling

Gingrich, Romney and Cain

Last weekend the South Dakota Republican Party held a straw poll at the annual state dinner. By now most of you are aware of the results, but to me the interesting part is how South Dakotans seem to be ahead of the curve when considering the presidential race.

SD GOP 2011 Straw Poll Results

  1. Herman Cain, 35%
  2. Newt Gingrich, 23%
  3. Mitt Romney, 20%
  4. Rick Perry, 7%
  5. Ron Paul, 5%
  6. Michele Bachmann, 4%
  7. Jon Huntsman, 3%
  8. Rick Santorum, 3%

My guess is everyone pretty much expected Herman Cain to come out on top of the straw poll because of the “IT” factor his campaign has possessed the last few weeks. Most of us also likely assumed Romney would be in the upper tier, but it was a surprise to many that Gingrich had surged into second.

If you look at this straw poll the numbers aren’t all that different from new scientific polling being conducted in early primary states. In new polls from Florida, Iowa, Ohio, South Carolina and Pennsylvania show Cain maintaining, Romney maintaining and Gingrich surging. Herman Cain, Newt Gingrich and Mitt Romney as the top three in the SD GOP straw poll accurately reflects the developing mood across the country.

22 Replies to “SD GOP straw poll foreshadows national polling”

  1. Charlie Hoffman

    If America can handle having a president with historical data flowing through his or her brain and a penchant for intellect than Newt is the person to vote for.

  2. Jake

    Herman Cain was #1 in the polls. The allegations against him have not been proven. People vote for the frontrunner in strawpolls it’s jus the way it works.

    Herman Cain will fade some but I bet he stays about 15-20% in the polls.

    1. Anonymous

      The allegation about the Restaurant Association paying a settlement to women who made sexual harassment claims against him is proven. When he ran for Senate in Georgia he told his campaign strategist about this so they could get out in front of it. Now he claims he had no knowledge about it. The guy is dishonest at the least about the settlements and his knowledge of them. If the underlying allegations are true he’s also sleazy. True though – sleazy and dishonest aren’t a bar to the Presidency, but they don’t help in the nominating process. Look where Gingrich – the brightest of the candidates is because of his sleaziness and dishonesty. Hey, aren’t they both from Georgia? Maybe there’s something in the water there.

      1. Anonymous

        Jon Kyl says it is OK for politicians to not tell the truth as they can do that. What a dip stick and all those who like that method of telling the truth………. be it a D or R or I….

        1. cornerstone

          I’ll vote for Gingrich in a primary setting. He is one smart cookie. I’m not sure Professor Obama has the intelect to be on stage with Gingrich and we all know it will show.

          7 3 hour lincoln douglas style debates? Are you kidding me? Obama would lose hands down and the fun of it all will be that Obama will never agree to doing them.

          Gingrich might just scare the pants off of the dems.

  3. Anonymous

    Remembering back to the Ames straw poll that dominated the news from this summer, what happened to Bachmann? I know she misspoke, but so have the rest…why the big decline?

    1. This is Thune kicking himself!!!!!!!!!

      I think Bachmann’s support was a protest to Romney. I’m not sure more than 5% of her supporters really wanted her to be president. Then Perry got in and they all ran to him. Then he imploded and they started jumping ship.

      I think Cain’s support is a lot like Bachmann’s. He is nice, we agree with him but when it comes right down to it we still want some experience.

      Gingrich will be a real challenge if he rises to top tier because we all know his baggage and we all know he’s smart.

      The biggest loser of this primary is JOHN THUNE. He could have been somebody.

  4. caheidelberger

    Bill/Hans, what are you smoking?

    “With Bachmann, Perry, and Cain gone or disintegrating, the right wing-nuts of the GOP have only one hope left: Newt Gingrich. His star will rise briefly before he, too, is pilloried for the bizarre things he?s uttered in the past and for his equally bizarre private life. His fall will be equally sudden (although I don?t think Gingrich is capable of embarrassment).” Robert Reich, 2011.11.11.

    1. Anonymous


      nothing gives me more pleasure than to see someone getting under your thin skin.

      Keep up the good work Bill!

  5. caheidelberger

    Funny how the conservatives are always so afraid of a challenge to their fragile beliefs that they regularly resort to telling their opponents to leave. As much as I disagree with Bill/Hans and a number of other commenters here, I don’t think I’ve ever said to you guys, “Why don’t you just leave South Dakota? You don’t belong here?” That anti-social exclusivity seems to be a uniquely conservative pathology.

    I’m loving Spearfish. But if you’d like to organize a collection to allow me to retire and move back to Lake Herman, feel free to start. You’ll have to cover the cost of breaking my lease, a few years’ salary (since leaving just three months into my job would have negative impacts on my employability), health care benefits… let’s start the bidding at $400,000.

    Of course, I might just take that money and buy a house in Spearfish, so my family and I can come stay out here any time and spread the good word. 😀

  6. caheidelberger

    Hey, wait a minute: I was invited! Spearfish called me, invited me for a job interview, and gave me a job! You don’t get more invited than that.

    …none of which changes what Reich and I have said: nobody but Romney stands a chance against Obama. Far from prescient leadership, the SDGOP straw poll demonstrates the party’s recognition of its weakness and the desperation resulting from that sad recognition.

  7. sdpride

    Gingrich is a joke. I don’t understand why Republicans support him.

    He is the most establishment candidate of them all. (Shouldn’t that upset the Tea Party? Especially with all those ethics charges. Not to mention those commercials he filmed with Nancy Pelosi…)

    And I’d love to hear the SoCons explain why they will vote for Gingrich when he had an affair because he was so devoted to his country that he didn’t have time for his wife.

    But the most annoying thing about him is that he spends his time at the debates criticizing the moderators instead of answering the questions and yet people love him for it.

    1. Anonymous

      1) the questions are stupid and he tells them that. 2) he answers the question after he says it’s stupid. 3) he knows what he is talking about.

  8. Anonymous

    Romney or Gingrich work for me. I’m more interested in Gingrich than Romney but at least I know they can both speak and won’t screw up in debates.

  9. 73*

    I really enjoy Gingrich in the debates. He speaks articulately and slams the stupid moderators for being dumb… One thing I have never understood from these Republicans is why do they allow liberal media to ask them the questions in a Republican primary?

    It is a Republican primary. None of these media elites will vote in a primary for a Republican. Let’s start having some Republican/conservative TV personalities ask questions in a debate. Krauthammer, Will, Kristol, Steele… etc.

  10. caheidelberger

    You know, 73, there is something to be said for fielding less than friendly questions in a Republican primary debate. You get a chance to test your candidate against (what you perceive as) the worst the Left will be able to throw at them. As a Dem, I don’t want my primary candidates fielding nothing but softball questions from me throughout the primary. Conducting the primary in a conservative echo chamber leads to picking a weaker candidate. It also does a strong disservice to the millions of fellow Americans for whom you are picking their other viable choice for President without giving them a chance to vote in that nomination process.

  11. Anonymous

    I could deal with Newt but Paul getting the nomination would make me uncomfortable and he would probably have it taken away at convention. Meaning he’d run third party.


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