PIERRE, S.D. (KELO) — State Representative Jamie Smith Democrat, hoping to be elected South Dakota governor, says in a new TV ad that the contest is “a toss-up” and the Republican incumbent, Kristi Noem, is “frantic.”
But when KELOLAND News on Monday asked for support of the claim, Alex Matson, a spokesman for Smith’s campaign, said the toss-up statement referred to a month-old public-opinion survey conducted by South Dakota State University faculty. It showed Noem leading Smith 45-41%.
South Dakota Election 2022 Resources from KELOLAND News
- Your Local Election Headquarters
- South Dakota Election 2022 results
- Kristi Noem grabs decisive win to secure second term
- Amendment D: Voters weigh Medicaid expansion
- IM 27: South Dakota votes on legal marijuana again
- Senator John Thune easily wins re-election bid
- Dusty Johnson wins re-election bid for House seat
- Slaughterhouse ordinance on ballot for Sioux Falls voters
- Live updates: 2022 midterm election results
“We are basing that off of the SDSU poll. The governor herself also stated ‘This race is close because people who have lived here forever are taking our freedom for granted,'” Matson said.
KELOLAND News also contacted Noem campaign spokesman Ian Fury about the claim. Fury pointed to a more-recent poll conducted October 19-21 for KELOLAND News by Emerson College. It showed Noem leading Smith 56-37%.
“I believe that your outlet may have some polling that answers your question,” Fury said.
No polling has been publicly released since the KELOLAND survey. Neither campaign released its internal numbers Monday. On October 22, Noem in a fundraising email stated, “This race is tightening and we must close strong.”
In 2018, Noem, a four-term member of the U.S. House and a former legislator, defeated state Senate Democrats leader Billie Sutton 172,912-161,454. A third candidate, Libertarian Kurt Evans, received 4,848 votes. That was the closest a Democrat has come to winning since the 1974 re-election of Dick Kneip, who upset Republican incumbent Frank Farrar in 1970.
Election-eve rallies are planned Monday night by Noem in Rapid City at the Barnett Fieldhouse and Smith in Sioux Falls at the Washington Pavilion. Noem said on Twitter she plans to vote with her family in Hazel on election day, while Smith plans to vote at Faith Family Church in Sioux Falls.