Most South Dakotans are NOT Social Conservatives

During Noem’s latest blab fest interview she did not disagree with reporter Austin Goss when he said she was a social conservative. Where it got interesting was when he made the claim (she did not) that most South Dakotans are social conservatives like her.

While it may be true that a large percentage is, when it comes to the ballot box and polls the numbers speak another picture.

In raw numbers registered voters who are;

• Republican, 48%

• Democrat, 27%

• Independent, 24%

• Other, 1%

But in a poll I came across the other day (sorry, still trying to find it again) it said that South Dakotans that consider themselves;

• Conservative, right leaning, 46%

• Progressive/liberal, left leaning, 41%

• Moderate, middle, 13%

This of course blows up the notion that ‘most’ South Dakotans are socially conservative or lean right. Also, this polling has gradually become more moderate to left over the past few years (I have looked back to 2014).

You can also look at initiatives. South Dakotans voted twice that they are pro-choice. They have also supported raising the minimum wage and recently rec and medical marijuana.

While I do agree there is a fringe base that support Noem on her Highway to Whackadoodle it is quite a stretch to think that South Dakotans who voted to keep abortion legal and marijuana legalization are ‘social conservatives’ 🙂

While her supporters may be the loudest in the room, they get very quiet when the votes are counted.


#1 Theocratic Republic of SD on 04.09.21 at 10:14 am

SDDP 27% and falling

#2 Very Stable Genius on 04.09.21 at 11:38 am

41% plus 13% should mean that Democrats ought to be able to win some statewide races, right? But why not? Well, because the art of GOTV has been lost and serious statewide Democratic candidates too often run right of center trying to win over the 46%, which in turn alienates the 41%, and then makes Democratic GOTV that much harder. It’s a vicious cycle.

Also, the successes of the left with abortion and marijuana in South Dakota speak more about the libertarian qualities of those two issues, then a liberal tendency, in my opinion.

#3 The Guy From Guernsey on 04.10.21 at 12:49 pm

I agree with the value and diminished practice of the GOTV effort. Among the ranks in the Democrat party there are some titans in GOTV. As a Republican, I have watched them in action on behalf of local issue campaigns. I consider them to be vestiges of Daschle and Obama rather than McGovern. Nonetheless, as these individuals moved on to government policy careers in regional medical systems (thanks Obamacare!) or as small business persons, the institutional knowledge and practice of GOTV does not seem to have been transferred to other Democrats.

I do not agree that right-of-center Dem campaigns have alienated ‘the 41%’. In saying this I contend that if you, as a Democrat, failed to capitalize on the once-in-a-50-year opportunity to place a Dem in the Governor’s office by withholding a vote for Billie Sutton because you considered his campaign “right of center”, then you are more responsible for The Reign of the Ice Queen as Governor than any voter which placed a vote for Noem. Right of center of the spectrum of Liberalism/Progressivism is not right of center of the entire spectrum of political ideology.

Rather than alienated, ‘the 41%’ are simply apathetic in reflecting their ideology at the polls. Hence the value of GOTV.

#4 Very Stable Genius on 04.10.21 at 7:35 pm


Billie could have won in ’18 if they had a true GOTV. What Dems had was a last minute glorified leaflet drop attempt to try to get him elected, which does not work. In fact, it’s dangerous. Because soon after Johnson beat Thune in ’02, a piece was written, I can’t remember which monthly magazine it was, but they surmized that Thune’s team actually helped elect Johnson at the end, because Thune’s team just started encouraging everyone in affluent neighborhoods to get out to vote and vote for Thune. They just assumed they were talking to Thune supporters by doing this, too, but the problem with that strategy was that in the final days affluent, educated, and undecided voters were trending for Johnson, because they wanted to keep Daschle as majority leader with Johnson’s help.

The only true way to begin an authentic GOTV is to first ID your supporters early as well as the persuadables, but the Sutton team couldn’t do that because most people in April thru June (as early) didn’t know Billie from the man on the Moon and it wasn’t until his great ad after Labor Day that people began to take a look at him and like him. So the ability to organize their true vote was a short window of only weeks, especially since early voting begins in late September in South Dakota. Thus, Sutton’s campaign was totally dependent upon marketing, like with their good ad after Labor Day, but that’s not enough for a Democrat to win in South Dakota.

As far as blaming me for Noem, well, my actions are a micro example and cannot be blamed for a macro reality. And keep in mind, too, if the Sutton camp had a real GOTV they would have got the 41% behind them, or at least more of them.

Plus, as much as Noem is a mess. I frankly do not want to be a part of or legitimize a part of the SDDP which in desperation tries to legitimize an anti-choice, pro-gun, and “you gotta be a Christian to run for office” agenda, which is what Billie and Tim did in 2018 just so they could win, or try to win.

In keep in mind, that an analysis of Billies voting record in the state legislature was done by DFP and Cory found Billie’s voting record to be more conservative than the average GOP member of the legislature in his last year as a legislator.

So, I am sorry, I am not going to legitimize this kind of stuff just for the sake of having a governor with the letter “D” behind their name.

Also, I was totally confident that Noem would win because I personally knew months ahead of time that the Sutton camp had no real GOTV for their campaign, which is what it would have taken for him to win.