SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (KELO) — Even if they vote for Democrat Jamie Smith for governor of South Dakota, it appears voters don’t think he will win, according to a new poll from KELOLAND News, Emerson College and The Hill.
The poll was conducted with registered voters from Oct. 19-21. The sample is of voters most likely to vote on Nov. 8. The size was 1,500 voters. The poll has a margin of error of plus or minus of 2.4 percentage rate.
Incumbent Republican Gov. Kristi Noem is the planned choice for 56% of voters compared to 37% for Smith. Three percent plan to vote for Libertarian Tracey Quint. Most voters have already selected their candidate as 4% are undecided.
However they planned to vote, 74% of the voters expect Noem to get re-elected. Forty-five percent of the registered Democrats expect Noem to win while 91% of Republicans do and 68% of Independents/Other party do.
Smith has the edge in voters who say they are Independent at 46% to 39%. Both candidates have overwhelming support in their respective parties at 83% for Noem and 80% for Smith.
Most of the voters have a favorable opinion of Noem at 56% compared to 40% for Smith. But that opinion could be influenced by 52% of the respondents saying they are registered as Republicans compared to 27% as Democrats. Twenty-two percent of the respondents said they are registered as Independent.
Of the 4% that are undecided, 33% said they are leaning toward voting for Smith. That 4% would not be enough to push Smith past Noem in the election.
Economy was a key issue in both major parties.
Sixty-five percent of those who plan to vote for Noem listed the economy as the most important issue.
Smith supporters also listed the economy as an important issue but not at the rate (15%) of Noem supporters. Threats to democracy (28%) and abortion access (24%) ranked higher in importance for Smith supporters.
Voters who cared most about immigration and crime as the most important issues in the election were Noem supporters.
Voters who cared most about education and housing affordability in this election were Smith supporters.
Noem’s voting support is highest among those 50 and older. Sixty-two percent of those 50 and older plan to vote for Noem.
Support for Noem and Smith is closer in the age ranges under 50.
Noem’s support drops to 46% in the 35 to 49 age range and 41% in the 18 to 34 age range.
Smith’s support is strongest in those under 50. Support is at 45% in the 18 to 34 range and 47% in the 35 to 39 range.
The split between male and female voters is slightly different for each candidate with Noem getting the largest share of both male and female voters. More males planned to vote for Noem while more females planned to vote for Smith. Here’s the breakdown: For Noem: males (58%) and females (55%); for Smith: 39% are females and 35% are males.
View the full results from Emerson College online; look for the file under the Key Takeaways.