New independent poll claims Gubernatorial candidates in dead heat.

A new private poll released this morning contends that both Marty Jackley and Kristi Noem are in a dead heat in the Republican Gubernatorial Primary race:

To: Interested Parties

From: Blake Harris, Leverage Public Strategies

Date: May 10, 2018

Re: South Dakota Republican Primary for Governor

Leverage Public Strategies is a political consulting and public opinion research company with candidate and non-profit clients across the country. From time to time, LPS surveys Republican races of interest around the U.S. to keep tabs on conservative voter opinions and moods.

LPS recently conducted a public opinion survey of likely South Dakota Republican Primary voters to evaluate candidate support in the 2018 race for governor. The survey took place May 4-7, sampled 350 likely GOP Primary voters, and had a margin of error of 5.2%. Our findings were as follows:

• The race is statistically tied, with Marty Jackley leading Kristi Noem by one point: 39% to 38%.

• Both candidates enjoy a high positive favorability number. Marty Jackley’s net favorability is +61 (77-16) while Kristi Noem’s is +49 (71-22).

• Kristi Noem does slightly better among “very conservative” voters (46-37%).

• Marty Jackley does slightly better among those “certain” to vote (41-36%).

• Female voters favor Marty Jackley (41-35) while male voters favor Kristi Noem (41-37).

• The race is equally close as the top-line in all regions of the state.

LPS President Blake offered the following comments on the race:

“This primary campaign is at close as it gets, and all signs point to a photo finish. This race is going to be a very interesting one to watch over the final weeks of the primary. Both candidates have single-digit “never heard of” numbers, which means they are both fairly well-defined in the minds of voters.

Bottom line: Most Republicans in South Dakota feel like they have two good options. Therefore, as is usually the case in close races, the campaign that best utilizes resources to turnout their supporters will likely win.”

I’m on the road, so I’ll post more on it later. As one commenter has noticed (I was just waking up when I posted this) It might’ve been a better poll if they had left off the Democrats and independents, since they can’t vote in the primary.

80 thoughts on “New independent poll claims Gubernatorial candidates in dead heat.”

  1. This would be an interesting survey, except 22% (77) of the 350 surveyed can’t vote in the Republican Primary.

    1. The release says it is a survey of “likely Republican primary voters,” but then you are right – their detail includes Democrats and independents. It could be that they also polled other topics. Someone should contact them and clarify whether their polling result includes or excludes those D’s and I’s.

      1. Unfortunately Dusty Johnson does campaign on fixing almost everything Kristi did in 2010. It’s too bad she wasn’t better at getting things done.

    2. good catch. There should be no D’s, I’s, or others. This is a deeply flawed poll from the start. I wasn’t all that surprised about the supposed results, but with 77 of the 350 not being R’s, that is very problematic.

    3. I’ve spoken with a few Dems who are switching to vote in the Gov primary. So it is very possible for a person to respond that they are certain to vote in the GOP primary and be a Dem or Indy. In fact, given that people can still switch parties and that there is no statewide primary on the Dem side, it would be bad poll to exclude Dems who say they are certain to switch.

      1. I changed my party affiliation today so I can vote in the Republican primary. So I can vote against the person who I do not want to be the Republican gubernatorial candidate in the fall election. And then I will change back after the primary.

  2. Surprising that the undecided are at 24%….non political junkies (ie everyone not on this blog 🙂 ) have not tuned in at around 1 in 4…I am always surprised by that.

  3. Second thought—–Anyone ever hear of Leverage Public Strategies?

    Are the news sources (KELO, KSFY, ARGUS) going to do any polls?

    1. I understand the Argus Leader is planning to release a poll later this month.

  4. I’m not surprised that 24% are undecided as I remain undecided and I’ve certainly been tuned in. I’m surprised it is 24% for these reasons:

    1) Both candidates have performed their current jobs at a high level.
    2) Both candidates are well-known and as the pollster said “well-defined.”
    3) The policy differences between them are relatively small and are mostly a matter of what each holds as higher priorities relative to others.
    4) Neither campaign has given us anything bold and forward looking with regard to policy or direction to judge. (This isn’t necessarily a negative but I think is a positive for both of them.)

    1. Dusty, Shantel and Tapio are all running on the same things kristi did 8 years ago. Why? Because she didn’t do what she said she would

      According to Dusty Johnson Booker’s debt is now $60,000 instead of $40k. According to Shantel Obamacare still needs to be repealed. And according to Tapio immigration is still a mess.

      Her hands are not clean. She hasn’t fulfilled her promises to the voters from 8 years ago. It’s that simple.

      1. and according to the 3 AG candidates crime/drugs are a huge problem and gotten worse under Marty….

        before you throw stones…

        1. Did the 3 AG candidates specifically blame Jackley for crime/drugs being a huge problem and getting worse? Sounds to me like you’re spinning the narrative a bit. How’s MJ directly responsible for the actions of criminals? Is he a lawmaker, a police officer, a judge or a jury?

          Claiming Jackley is the reason for increased crime/drugs is not a truthful statement.

      2. Not fair to make this assessment. We have no idea how Jackley would or would not have voted or what he would have done or not done in D.C. as he was NOT there. Some would may argue then that things went undone in the AG office, so they are voting for Noem. She was not THERE either.

        1. Yall are like children. Yes bad stuff happened in DC while Kristi was there but nothing she didn’t vote against. She only has but ONE vote. Yes, crime went up under Jackley, but it kinda went up everywhere. At least Kristi has been standing up for us, going on live TV, talking the tough subjects, representing the state and fighting the good fight against a horde of incompetent career politicians. And now she’s home just as she promised. NO ONE does this. No one just leaves congress after 8 years simply because they say they will. But she did. She beat tremendous odds to beat Herseth and instead of milking it like Thune has for 20 years, she stuck by her guns and here she is, ready to be our first female Governor. What did Jackley do? Graduate high school, become a lawyer, then get appointed Attorney General just in time to help covering up the EB5 and Gear up scandals? I mean by our definition he’s not a politician, (he’s never won a real political campaign) but he is by definition of corrupt politician. Pretty easy choice here, people…

          1. I agree. The debt is higher, Obamacare exists and immigration is bad. Kristi wants out of DC before this sticks to her.

            What has she done?

            1. passed the farm bill and tax reform…what is it Marty has done?

              higher crime rate…convicted that desperate criminal Bosworth in a show trial….office lost marijuana case in Flandreau after he over hyped it….

              oh gave Joop Bolin a slap on the wrist and got the flag stealer….

              oh and then there is that great oversight of DCI and the 1.2 M verdict against the state

    2. I disagree Troy. Kristi is a prominent voice for SD but the comment is correct that the 3 house candidates are all running on the same issues she used against Herseth.

      Its dejavu and quite honestly makes me mad at DC’s lack of action.

  5. This appears to be a poll that we can believe.

    The only questions are who fires at who first and what’s the net effect? I think it’s a dangerous move, probably desperate for either.

    1. This poll is flawed — 22% of the poll weren’t even R’s. This is polling 101 and I’m surprised this was even released.

    2. Oh look, its the “desperate” guy again, this time taking a new approach. You Jackley trolls need to branch out more.

  6. Bad for Kristi.

    100% of primary voters know her. 100% of primary voters know everything about her that she wants them to know from 5 major campaigns.

    Voters dont know Marty nearly as well. The fact that it’s a dead heat tells me they want something other than Kristi. IF Marty is who they want.

    This is good news for the challenger.

    It’s going to come down to who defines Marty better. Kristi or Marty.

    Her DC consultants will do anything to win.

    1. Hate to burst your bubble, but 22% of the voters were Indies and Dems (Who support Jackley) as Kristi has the staunch Conservative vote. So this poll, just like almost all other polls, is a load of crap and shouldn’t be taken seriously. But you Marty trolls will really do anything to win. Who do I have the pleasure of talking to today? Marty’s nephew? Cousin?

  7. Anonymous 9:26:

    Every time you post that babble, you push me to voting for Noem. If Jackley’s supporters are all as intellectually dishonest or uninformed of basic civics, it does not reflect well on him he only has that type of supporter.

    1) We have a Constitution with three branches of government (division of powers)

    2) Members of Congress are not dictators and only have one vote.

    3) 6 of her 8 years, Obama was the President.

    4) For the last two years, the anti-Freedom Caucus Pro-Obamacre Liberal Enabling RINOS have negated the impact of our Congressional Authority and the benefit of Trump as President.

    Her promise was to fight for certain things and she did so honorably and with great effort. When you disparage that effort to dishonestly promote Jackley, you negatively reflect on Jackley.

    1. I too allow anonymous idiots on internet forums to influence my votes when they act like idiots. That has never happened before, amirite?

      1. Good point and you are correct. They don’t consciously affect me but might subconsciously, especially when the true differences are slight and “friends” might make the difference.

        Regarding frustration, it appears nothing has changed. I’m more than frustrated. I’m angry with the anti-Freedom Caucus Pro-Obamacre Liberal Enabling RINOS have negated the impact of our Congressional Majorities and the benefit of Trump as President. We got our Majorities and they don’t give us the benefits because they are so stupid and stubborn.

        1. Are any members of the Freedom Caucus so stupid that they think they can consciously analyze the way things “subconsciously” affect them?

          I’d venture a guess that several Freedom Caucus members have IQs a good 20-30 points higher than yours, Troy. The conflict lies in the fact that you apparently have no problem with socialized health care as long as it’s REPUBLICAN socialized health care.

          Some Americans actually believe we have a moral obligation to fight for constitutional liberty that’s more important than notching symbolic wins for the Almighty R.

          1. Your symbolism means Americans have to live under Obamacare and the like. Whatever your principles are, if they result in us living under tyranny, you are enabling tyranny. I think the Freedom Caucus is all a bunch of liberal enablers.

            1. Do you think it consciously or subconsciously?

              If the Freedom Caucus is a bunch of liberal enablers, then why wouldn’t its members enable liberal Republicans to enact the Republican version of socialized health care?

              You suggest Obama’s socialized health care is tyranny, but Republican socialized health care is somehow not tyranny. That double standard clarifies where the real conflict lies.

              Some Americans actually believe we have a moral obligation to fight for constitutional liberty that’s more important than notching symbolic wins for the Almighty R.

        2. I like how Troy flipped out but he’s now essentially saying Noem and DC haven’t done a thing.

          We are all frustrated that Kristi and the GOP didn’t accomplish what she said she would against SHS.

    2. The excuse that Obama was POTUS for 6 of 8 years is weak because Congress controls spending.

      1. Yeah. She voted for a trillion $ bill to move it to the floor and vote against it.

        The old switcheroo. Aka the John Kerry.

        It’s all catching up to her.

        1. If you knew nothing about the Bill other than the president supported it, would you at least bring it to a vote? At least she voted against it. But keep grasping that straw if you want to.

        2. All you have to do is turn on CSPAN and watch all the grandstanding to understand a cloture vote. The Democrats are particularly good at declaring that PEOPLE WILL DIE if they don’t get what they want. Doesn’t matter if what it is. PEOPLE WILL DIE if they don’t get their way.
          A cloture vote is a vote to make everybody sit down and shut up.
          Nothing wrong with that.

      2. She is only one vote. She voted right, she advocated right and by all accounts was a strong voice.

        In this Democratic Republic under a divided government, to have expectations she can do more than that is to expect her to accomplish things outside the Constitution.

        Are you one of those liberals who want to nullify the Constitution and take away our Constitutional Rights and protections because you sure sound like it.

        1. GOP president, gop Senate, gop house.

          Give me a break. Trump is the only one doing anything.

          1. I agree. The biggest problem in Congress is the Obamacare loving, liberal enabling Freedom Caucus who negate our majority. Imagine what we could have done if those seats were filled with real Americans instead of those bozos no smarter than Maxine Walters.

              1. Insulting Freedom Caucus members by saying they’re un-American bozos no smarter than Maxine Waters is probably more effective if you know her name is Waters, not Walters.

            1. Troy, are you REALLY saying you disagree with the Freedom Caucus 100% of the time? I do not know of anybody, including you, who I agree with 100% of the time. I happen to believe the FC has done a lot for the Republican majority. They also are the people going after the DOJ. All in all, they are doing a lot of work for the conservative portion of the GOP. If you disagree with 20% of what they do, you still agree 80% of the time.

      3. Exactly. All GOP. Maybe they only have 2 years with total control. Why hasnt she delivered? It’s the bottom of the 9th with two outs, 4th quarter with 3 seconds left.

        It’s time to act not kick the can down the road. House blames Senate, Senate blames president. President actually does.

        1. Individual mandate repealed
          Major Tax cuts passed
          ISIS destroyed
          N Korea–hostages released, peace treaty imminent and nuclear standoff seemingly averted
          Gorsech confirmed to SCOTUS and 15 other appeal judges confirmed

          Looking good to me

          1. Thank you Trump!

            Dusty is worried about his kids debt. I remember when Kristi was also.

    3. I’d hate to have Dusty’s successor in 10 years running on the same problems he is now.

      Kristi really left a lot on the table.

  8. Two years ago no one thought Kristi was vulnerable. This is a major race!

  9. Uhh well DUH. I mean you had independents and Democrats voting in a POLL FOR THE PRIMARY.. THE REPUBLICAN PRIMARY. If Kristi is more popular with heavily Conservative voters then who do you think the Independents and Democrats were more likely to lean to??

  10. Perhaps some I and Ds will vote in GOP primary…I think the percentages are high, but in Aberdeen I hear people are switching to vote in sheriff race and then they vote in the other races also.

    I really do not like being able to switch just for an election and switching back…

    1. “I really do not like being able to switch just for an election and switching back…”

      That’s the beauty of democracy. The freedom to choose. 😀

  11. It will be interesting to see what each sides strategy will be to persuade the undecided. Does someone go hard negative a couple days before election? Charm offensive? This will get interesting fast! Very boring so far!

  12. I guess it is natural the Noem supporters will try to spin this their way and the Jackley supporters will try to spin it their way. But, I think it pretty accurate (close on the committed and a large block of undecided).

    Thus, I agree with Anonymous 11:37 and Bill and the candidates/campaigns have some really hard decisions to make.

    1) Go negative and it could likely backfire since both have high favorables.
    2) Go bold on an initiative which may or may not reflect the public’s view yet could work-out as it shows leadership or could divide one’s supporters.
    3) Go positive for themself and pretend the other doesn’t exist which could be seen as mamby-pamby.
    4) Mix and match like a noon meal at Taco Johns.

  13. It would be interesting to know how many attempts were made to get 350 completed surveys. In this day of caller ID and distaste for telemarketers, how many calls were made? How many surveys were hung up on before they were completed? It takes a real political junkie to sit through a political telephone poll. The repeat phrase is “Just a few more moments, this won’t take long.” Most people just hang up or don’t respond in the first place, so getting results from an average voter may be hard to get.

  14. Maybe it’s time for the voters to understand or get a refresher on what went on with the EB 5 and Gear Up scandals – the money trail and deaths. Was there ever a thorough objective investigation? Who was in office? What did they do or not do to enable or prevent corruption or worse? Jackley? Daugaard? Dusty?

  15. Why were Democratic respondents to the poll included? Or, were they removed somehow?

  16. Where did this so called independent poll come from? Somebody paid for it. Who is Leverage Public Strategies? Interesting when you do a search on them you find their two top executives are lawyers, one of which is the former Attorney General for Iowa. Wonder if there might be some connection there or at least some candidate bias?

  17. This company is a joke. A nothing burger looking for some free publicity. And unfortunately we fell for it.

  18. I tend to believe its yet another one connected to a campaign or a friend of a campaign. We don’t know their methodology, but what we do know is that about 1/5th of their survey weren’t Republican voters. #flawed

  19. Never a good sign in a GOP primary when the only way you can manipulate the numbers in your favor is to add some Democrats. Sad!

  20. Does Marty support any of the people running for AG? I have not heard enthusiasm for any of them. It’s really kind of a sad race.

    1. Marty has said he is staying neutral.

      His people have privately told me they all believe Ravnsborg is going to win.

  21. i decided to find out more about Leverage Public Strategies so I tried to find them on line. All I could come up with was a Facebook page. Rather telling. No posts, no comments, no photos. It did have 5 likes and 5 follows. Doesn’t appear to be anything but a front. Seems someone is getting desperate.

    1. I doubt a campaign would release a poll that uses Democrats. Explain that. I dont understand.

    2. Well since Marty is the one sending out emails bragging about the results of this poll, I’m guessing it’s him.

  22. There are a number of my Conservatives with Common Sense breakfast partners who are leery of Mr. Jackly only because of his association with that young Mr. Glodt fellow who jammed Marsy’s Law down our maws. People don’t like Mr. Glodt much. That could hurt Mr. Jackley.

    1. They ought to take a look at Noem’s campaign manager, Justin Brasell. DC establishment through and through. A Mitch McConnell lackey, he sided with the establishment favorite in every campaign.

    2. Pretty sure nobody jammed anyone to vote for Marcy’s Law. Mr Glodt has done more to advance conservative candidates in this state than any one person I can think of. He has dedicated his life to the elephant and it’s kinda sick that people think his legacy is one law he worked on to get people to vote for it. Besides Marty Jackley is running for Governor not Mr. Glodt. Shall we put Kristi Noem’s Mr. Brasell in the spotlight so your breakfast buddies can make a fair comparison?

  23. Dugger., I think the results of the Freedom Caucus is the same as having Maxine Waters (sorry about the auto correct or typo). They both made sure with their vote Obamacare is still the law of the land.

    They talk a good game but they are liberal enablers.

  24. “Donald Trump should withdraw and Mike Pence should be our nominee effective immediately”.
    11:51 AM · Oct 8, 2016

    Troy. As the self anointed liberal enabler identifier, where on the spectrum would you place this ?

    1. I have no idea what the relevance is to spectrum, unless you think at its root it was to have a more liberal nominee (meaning you think Pence is more liberal than Trump).

      Regarding the “self anointed” comment, my opinion is the Freedom Caucus’ opposition to Trump’s reform of Obamacare has resulted in only changes in Obamacare that can be administratively accomplished (and reversed by future Presidents). Thus, it is undeniable they voted in a way that kept 100% of the legal framework in place which has the same effect as Maxine Waters’ vote.

      If you have a different opinion, back it up with a reason.

      Having opinions is not self-anointing oneself to anything.

  25. Oops. I forgot to properly attribute the above quote. Our very own conservative defender, John Thune.

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