It is said, to remain silent is to be thought a fool and to speak removes all doubt. Today I am putting on my Fools Cap and taking out my cracked crystal ball.
The certainty in South Dakota elections this year is: It’s going to be a big year for Republicans. Three reasons: South Dakota is a Republican State, The President (leader of the opposition party) is very unpopular, and for the most part the Democrats failed to show up.
While the pundits are focused on the heads up numbers it would be very telling to know the name identification numbers of the major candidates on the ballot. Can Ms. Robinson be at 30%? Ms. Wismer at 50%?
The World Series hasn’t even begun but the general public shows no signs of being engaged as of yet in the campaigns. There is a feeling among many citizens it really does not make much difference who wins – Government is Broken.
I won’t belabor it but this election cycle has been nothing short of bizarre. The weirdness roosts particularly in the GOP Senate primary, the disgruntled candidates who usurped the Libertarian Party ballot and the Myers – Hubbel Independent Governor candidacy.
The Senate General Election – As I previously intoned neither of the major parties have their best candidates on the ballot and Larry Pressler is making it interesting. While I originally thought the former Senator would take votes from Mike Rounds, he is taking potential votes from Democrat candidate Rick Wieland. Since I posted on Pressler he has come out in favor of Gay marriage, recognition of a Tribal Holocaust, opposed the Keystone pipeline and other left leaning positions.
Certainly Marty Jackley, Dusty Johnson, Kristi Noem, Chris Nelson, Stephanie Herseth Sandlin and maybe even Brendan Johnson passed on a solid opportunity.
All of the candidates for this open seat are running against Washington and have variations of the same message. Larry Pressler has been the most articulate and most specific in expressing his formula for change. The major party campaigns have not been energized. Only the poll two weeks ago showing the race tightening energized the campaigns (all three). Howie is rarely seen. That poll did bugle in the Cavalry with National Campaign Committee and Super PAC cash. Any slippage Mike Rounds had has been recovered.
Thus two weeks out the race is back to square one with the major party candidates. Rounds has the GOP base of 40%, Weiland the Democrat base of 28%. Neither of the major party candidates has added to their base. Pressler has taken all the oxygen. Howie stays at the angry birds you can’t be pure enough 4%.
So that puts the race today and where I predict it will be election night. Rounds 40% Pressler and Weiland 28% and Howie 4%. It is a dead heat for 2nd place (flip a coin to see who is number 2) and Howie is just a distraction. That is it folks barring any major bomb this last two weeks.
Almost no way can you massage the numbers to have Weiland or Pressler take enough votes from each other to overtake the 40%.
Finally there is the issue of FLUIDITY. When there are more that two candidates in a race for one spot, there can be movement on Election Day. Voters do not want to feel like their vote does not make a difference. Thus if the public believes there are just two real contenders, Mr. No. 3 and Mr. No. 4 can lose votes to No. 1 and No. 2. This phenomenon can be un predictable. It also suggests to me that Rounds and Weiland and their surrogates may want to be careful in their continued attacks on Pressler.
I should only add the above is not based on any polling. This is just pure opinion based on press reports, talking to voters in the coffee shops and saloons, and a little experience.