Sutton camp protesting weakly over Rhoden announcement as they start to see their campaign undone

The Billie Sutton for Governor campaign responded to the announcement of Larry Rhoden as GOP Gubernatorial Candidate Kristi Noem’s running mate today. Or at least, they responded weakly:

It’s no surprise that a member of the Washington DC political establishment selected a state government insider as a running mate. All South Dakota will get from the Congresswoman’s ticket is more of the same: more of the same Pierre insiders, more of the same Washington-style politics, and more of the same old business-as-usual. Billie Sutton is the only candidate for Governor who will clean up state government, buck the status quo in the state capitol and restore trust in government by listening to the people.

Read that here.

What intern boilerplated that one? Washington this, and political insider that...  I had given the Sutton campaign more credit for authenticity, but apparently they’re out to prove people who assume that as wrong.

The unsettling conclusion for the Sutton campaign is that they are finding themselves up against a ticket that “out-Billies Billie,” with both members of the GOP ticket coming from the community of the state’s farmers & ranchers.

While Sutton decided to try to make a predictable grab for cash with his Republican Lt. Governor’s Sioux Falls money connections, by picking Rhoden, Kristi Noem managed to outflank Sutton on his agricultural base, giving voters the first ticket since the Gov/Lt started running as a team that features two candidates who are both primarily farmers or ranchers. (H/T TVH).

With his choice of Michelle Lavalle as evidence of the fact, Sutton needed to reach out to Republican voters to try to expand from Democrats’ weak numbers to overcome the GOP’s strong advantage.  What they didn’t count on was Noem making a more unconventional choice, and having Noem, a farmer, pair with Rhoden, a rancher, which automatically takes a deep dig into Sutton’s main base of support.

Kristi Noem’s conservative Republican base isn’t going to defect from her because the GOP base is primarily based on values.  Sutton has always tried to identify himself as more Ag than “Democrat liberal ideological icon.”  When you compare the two, I don’t think that Sutton’s Ag base has the Noem base’s stick-to-itiveness, simply because we’re a Republican majority state, the Ag community is fairly conservative to start, and they’re happy to vote GOP as long as they don’t have a reason to stay away.

In politics, the rule in counting votes is to make sure you hold your base. That just became a lot more tenuous for the Sutton camp, because the Noem/Rhoden camp might look a lot more attractive to his Ag voters about now.

13 thoughts on “Sutton camp protesting weakly over Rhoden announcement as they start to see their campaign undone”

  1. Noem/Rhoden! What a great team.

    Those poor interns at the Sutton/Lavalee camp are in for a long, disappointing internship.

    1. This might actually be the first time I’ve heard anyone refer to Rhoden as an ‘Insider’. But desperate times… Billy needs to be careful that one of those rocks doesn’t hit his brick house.

  2. He should have said: I welcome my colleague and friend to the race.

    His attack on Rhoden is one that doesn’t hunt. Foolish.

    1. Rare to see a campaign come out of the gates being negative. This might break a landslide record.

    2. Agreed.

      It also doesn’t sound like something Sutton would say. Pat’s assessment that it was an intern might not be far off. He may actually be a reasonable moderate, but the lefty kids working for him certainly aren’t

  3. Jackley unsuccessfully tried painting Noem as a DC insider; Sutton’s attempt will have the same outcome.

    I am more convinced each news cycle that Sutton was all-in with the assumption that he would be facing Jackley this fall. Instead, he is facing a popular Congresswoman who is making a historic run for Pierre.

  4. We totally think different on this one… Farm money also does not hunt anymore…..bleeding blue

  5. Home would be the first female gov and Rhoden is solid, well-known, and Republican. Sutton wears a cowboy hat, picks a female lieutenant who is running with a Dem after helping Ten Haken win. My money is on Noem/Rhoden.

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