Ellis: Democrats unlikely to pose challenge to Thune

Jon Ellis is writing this morning about things that most SDWC readers have been hearing about for months; that the 2018 Gubernatorial race is likely between Mickelson, Jackley & Noem.

But my favorite comment comes up when he notes the 2016 race for US Senate. As in, there isn’t likely to be one. Or at least a serious one:

And no, we aren’t talking about the 2016 Senate race, where John Thune is expected to seek a third term. Democrats are in the middle of an epic rebuilding period, and it’s unlikely that they can field a candidate and an operation that would pose a serious threat to Thune with an election now less than two years away.

Read it here.

46 thoughts on “Ellis: Democrats unlikely to pose challenge to Thune”

  1. And let’s don’t forget the insanity of going against the $10 million war chest Thune has earned from doing all that work for corporate America. How much more will he be able to earn by screwing you all over net neutrality? That should be worth millions to him!

    Good work, Senator!

    1. Quite a salacious story about Thune in DC has made its way round the Capitol building this session.

    2. Two things that Ellis whiffed on are not mentioning Stephanie Herseth Sandlin possibly being on the Democrat side to face the winner of the GOP primary.

      And secondly dismissing Marty Jackley as if he’s an afterthought. True that Marty has not ever shown himself to be the most skilled or aggressive politician at building an organization (but neither has Noem – her organization has consisted of personality, fundraising and riding a wave – she has not built an organization beyond a donor base). Most people think that if Marty is in the race for governor that it would hurt Mickelson because they would be taking the male vote from each other but I would contend that his west river support would be stealing votes from Kristi.

      If Marty is in the race he will probably be equally popular with Mickelson in Pierre but he will also take Meade County, Lawrence County and be strong in Pennington. He’s the westriver candidate in the race and some people are just going to vote for him because he’s their home town boy (like Sioux Falls and Mickelson)

      1. He didn’t dismiss Marty as an afterthought. He just said that of those 3 big names he’s probably go the hardest path which I think is an accurate analysis. Marty is the most popular within the Pierre crowd (as evidenced by his strong showing in the DWC poll). But I don’t think he’d take West River because Kristi is so popular out there (probably a 60/40 split for Noem). Then Mickelson would be strong in the SF region, with Noem still havin some key supporters there. But the kicker is Noem would take most of the Farm Bureau-type crowd. Plus Ellis is right that Jackley wouldn’t have as much financial backing as Noem and Mickelson.

  2. The way I have always viewed Kristi Noem is as someone who was willing to do the hard things. If she leaves Washington and Washington is worse than it was in 2010 I will view her as giving up on the hard job. Nobody said it was going to be easy but if she’s not up to fixing DC then she should maybe just quit now and let someone else in there like Dusty Johnson who might be able to fix some things.

    Why would anyone say “I don’t want to be at the forefront of the most pressing issues of our time” to run for governor of SD and talk about road taxes?

    South Dakota is fine but our nation is in trouble. Kristi needs to stay the course and help fix our nation. If nothing is happening now maybe she should be more vocal.

    1. I see what you’re saying but she’s also probably of the mindset that one person shouldn’t stay in DC too long. That is partly why we’re in this position. If she spends 8 years in DC and makes some kind of meaningful impact (tax reform comes to mind), I’d say come home to Pierre and it’s the next person’s turn (Jackley or Johnson)

      1. If she contributes to a meaningful impact in DC I will feel differently about her leaving. A lot of us put stock in her as someone who was a fighter and we’re not seeing that fight. She still needs to deliver on being a champion for the values she ran on. Leadership time. Make a difference.

        If she runs for governor it should be because she completed a job she started instead of throwing her hands up and walking away in disgust.

        1. Personally, I won’t vote for her again because I figure 3 terms is enough for anyone in Congress. If she were to run for Governor or Senator, I would consider her again. As for whether DC is better or worse off, I believe DC tends to make the individual worse. One person is not going to change DC. Bush tried it in 2001 and got kicked in the teeth for trying. There are many good people in DC and there are many who were good and became corrupted by the town. Noem may be better placed in SD.

            1. Why would you vote against her just because she’s been there for 3 terms? That doesn’t make sense.

              I’m lukewarm on her as a leader but she’s not doing a lot of harm. She’s just not getting a lot done.

              1. i’m not voting “because she’s been there for three terms.” is that a reason? you’re spinning. i think she has done a lot of good in that office, more than her predecessor, although the shs choir would disagree i’m sure. are you just doing pro-shs dirty work?

  3. The governor’s race could be very interesting

    Noem–Name ID is high; she will have all the money she needs from on hand; to she has the 2016 cycle to raise money yet.

    Jackley-I see he has 300k on hand from finance reports; a good start already; good name ID , esp in party–generally well liked. (west river strong)

    Mickelson–good name ID from family; but not great personally yet, but I expect that to rise over the 4 years as he becomes speaker; but kind of like Larry Rhoden, known well in political circles, but needs to be known by the entire state more. (SF Strong)

    LT Gov Michaels–will he run? That could put things askew with the Gov likely backing his own #2 and Michaels is well liked int he party and his medical background will give him a lot of financial backers I would imagine.

    Then do we get a tea party challenger, a Stace Nelson or someone else to make it interesting, plus how much of the vote does he take and from where?

    How about a Larry Rhoden–West River, had a decent showing in US Senate race, general well liked

    Then of course there is always rumblings of a Dusty Johnson; Lee Schoenbeck or who knows who might come out of the legislature to run.

    Should be a spirited race for all who join and when do they join; I would think after 2016 election.

    Plus if Noem runs then her seat is opened up and do any of these people run for that instead?

    1. All interesting thoughts. The problem with Michaels is very few people even know who the Lt. Governor is in SD. He may be well liked in the party–I don’t know, but he is not known by the people. I believe name recognition will go a long way as long as the race is not nasty. If the race becomes nasty, then a dark horse has a shot a la Rounds when he ran against Kirby and Barnett.

    2. The difference between Mickelson and Rhoden is the difference between a creek and the Missouri. That is to say that they are not at all the same.

      Mickelson will have money – lots of money. Rhoden didn’t have two nickels to rub together.

  4. The Dems couldn’t find a serious candidate to run for the OPEN seat in 2014. So how are they going to find a candidate to run against a popular 2 term Senator with $10M on hand?

    1. thune came back after a narrow loss to johnson. herseth sandlin could run for senate. would she?

        1. I suspect that might be the only office she’s interested in running for, although I’m not at all certain she desires to run for anything in the near future.

        2. shs as governor would be a train wreck. are there so few capable democrats at any level in this state that you must constantly stare backward to her lame brief time in office? how disappointing, how discouraging. wow. it’s breathtaking.

            1. actually there are many very capable democrats, but in the south dakota environment they can’t be bothered to sully themselves with the effort it would take and the compromises they’d have to make, to achieve something in a minority party climate. it’s sad, and so they keep looking backward.

  5. Ellis is a Sioux Falls centrist writer. That is why he downplayed Jackley. Watch out. Marty will bring a strong candidacy to the race.

    1. Rounds would be hard pressed to give up on Washington so quickly.

      An interesting idea, but I doubt it.

  6. The more interesting matchup may be between the surrogates. Team Rounds will be solidly behind Jackley, and the Daugaard camp will support Mickelson. Advantage: Mark. The Thune guys will pledge to stay out but we all know that they won’t be able to do that. Another advantage to George III.

    1. I don’t think either of the Rounds, Daugaard, or Thune people will be unified behind any one candidate. Within their respective camps the individuals will all have their own favorites.

      More than anything I think Thune will attempt to make sure that a primary does’t completely rip apart the party. If he can I think he’ll try to broker a deal behind the scenes to avoid a nasty primary.

    1. you all just keep pretending michels doesn’t exist. when he’s ready to go he’ll be unstoppable.

  7. i wonder if any of them would be willing to be LT Gov if they lost the primary. I don’t see that.

    Or Michaels to continue?

    Jackley or Noem would more than likely balance their ticket with someone from the legislature; a Corey Brown, a Brock Greenfield or a Lee Schoenbeck or a Dan Lederman (talk about a cross section of the party)–people that could be future leaders perhaps or at least familiar with legislature or have a recent connection to it.

    Mikelson would probably want someone outside of SF; he is in legislature already so he could pull a businessman or lawyer or someone non-traditional also ; maybe a West River person or another major town in east river.

  8. It is at least an embarrassment of riches.

    And to point out, who knew Lt. Gov. Dennis Daugaard before the 2010 campaigns began and he took 50 per cent over four other opponents in the primary.

  9. Why would Democrats challenge Thune at all? They love the current lilly livered Republican leadership in the US Senate and they know how to play them like a fiddle. When the Criminal Party is in charge of the Senate, they push the GOP leadership’s noses in the dirt time after time and laugh gleefully, while CNN, MSNBS, PBS, ABC, CBS et al laugh along with them. Harry Reid’s use of reconciliation to cut off debate and shove Obama Care down our throats is the prime example.

    But when it comes to stopping Obama’s unconstitutional executive amnesty, Johnny Hoops and Mitch McConnell et al quake in their boots at the very thought of using reconciliation to get an anti-illegal immigration bill in front of Obama, Even though the GOP only needs 51 votes to make it happen. And their “bill” is now hopelessly tied in knots by an obstructionist Democrat fillibuster. And McConnell, Johnny Hoops & company stand around scratching their collective heads like Gomer Pyle at the gas station, amazed at why the Dems don’t want to play nicee nicee with them.

    There can only be two conclusions to draw from this. Either the GOP leadership in the Senate– including Johnny Hoops– secretly support the executive amnesty, most likely because they are so beholden to the US Chamber of Commerce– a body they fear far more than the Democrats or the wrath of Republican voters. Or, they have the collective intelligence of Gomer Pyle. Shazzam !

    Otherwise they would have gotten serious by now, found some guts and used Reid’s own tactics against him to move this and other bills out of the chamber,

    Its called bringing a Twinkie to a knife fight.

    1. Sadly accurate, I’m afraid. Thune is part of the problem. He’s a professional politician. His resume includes political staffer, Congressman, lobbyist, and United States Senator. The interests of the common man are not his own.

    2. jones troy, you are quite backwards indeed. your disdain for the national republican leadership stems mostly from forgetting what better governance looks and sounds like, and the outward evidence of your simply not getting out of the house and away from the crank bloggers very often. thune is an accessible, forthright and good public servant, who remembers where he comes from every single day. you on the other hand seem to simply have a lot of free time to crank out these fantasy thought-pieces and borderline slander. we detect the difference.

      1. Hey that’s rich, Anonymous. And I suppose you are going to explain that “good government” is on glorious display right here in South Dakotaville, huh? Backward as it is, xenophobic and dripping with cronyism and corruption as it is. C’mon– put your big boy pants on, or your big girl pantyhose on, whichever the case may be, and stop acting like a hick with all that fawning over the 3 ring circus that is DC. And hero worship for the various clowns like McConnell, Thune, Boehner and Kristi Cheerleader who perform there. I’ll bet you even collect autographs. Oh and hey– nice grammar too. Go slop the hogs.

        1. Oh and remember Anonymous– in the Congress of the United States, action talks and bull shit walks (as opposed to Pierre, where Bull Shit talks and action walks). Here we are up to our elbows in illicit, unconstitutional, illegal executive actions that are diametrically opposed to the traditional values of the GOP and yet not one of your heroes has done squat about it except stumble over themselves for sound-bites and air-shots on the national media so they can pacify Chumps like you. Its like saying, “Well, they are acting like cowards and morans, but they are OUR own South Dakotaville cowards and morons. So we’ll always give them a pass and keep sending them back for more mediocrity. And aren’t Johnny Hoops and Kristi Cheerleader photogenic? (sigh)”

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