Noem holds double-digit lead in South Dakota governor’s race: poll

(AP Photo/John Raoux)

South Dakota Gov. Kristi Noem (R) is heading into the final stretch before Election Day as the clear favorite to win a second term in the governor’s mansion, according to a new survey from Emerson College Polling and The Hill that shows her with a nearly 20-point lead over her Democratic rival. 

The poll of 1,500 very likely general election voters in South Dakota found Noem winning majority support. Fifty-six percent said they support her for reelection, while only 37 percent said they are backing Democrat Jamie Smith. Three percent are planning to vote for Libertarian Tracey Quint. 

While Noem’s lead isn’t unexpected, the poll suggests that she’s drastically expanded her base of support since she first won the governor’s mansion in 2018. That year, she defeated Democrat Billie Sutton by fewer than 4 percentage points.  

It also helps her case that she remains popular among South Dakota voters. A majority — 56 percent — said they have a favorable view of Noem, while 43 percent have an unfavorable opinion.  

Smith, meanwhile, is underwater among voters. Forty percent of respondents said they have a positive opinion of Smith, the minority leader of the South Dakota state House, while 47 percent have an unfavorable view of him.  

In the race for U.S. Senate, Sen. John Thune (R-S.D.) is also the clear favorite to win reelection next month. Fifty-eight percent of voters said they plan to cast their ballot for him. His Democratic opponent Brian Bengs is pulling only 27 percent of the vote in that race. 

Republicans are also safe when it comes to South Dakota’s lone seat in the House. Rep. Dusty Johnson (R-S.D.) leads his Libertarian rival Dollin Duprel in that race 59 percent to 16 percent. That contest doesn’t feature a Democratic candidate. 

The Emerson College-The Hill poll surveyed 1,500 very likely general election voters from Oct. 19-21. It had a margin of error of plus or minus 2.4 percentage points. 

Tags 2022 Governors Dusty Johnson John Thune Kristi Noem Kristi Noem midterms 2022 South Dakota

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