DFP Readers Support Amendment T to End Gerrymandering; Governor Gets Worse on Ballot Measures

DFP poll: Amendment T, 2016.11.01–03.
DFP poll: Amendment T, 2016.11.01–03.

The latest Dakota Free Press poll finds Amendment T winning big—if only the bloggosariat ruled South Dakota!

I asked you, dear readers, if you support Amendment T, which would end gerrymandering by empaneling a nine-person independent redistricting commission to draw our Legislative district boundaries. Out of 140 votes cast from Monday through Wednesday, 76% of you said Yes, let’s change how we draw that map.

Given a standard online margin of error somewhat wider than currently gerrymandered District 2, we can make no firm conclusions about the bearing of this poll on Tuesday’s results. However, I find it interesting that T gets about the same level of support among blog readers as Initiated Measures 21 and 22. 75% of you supported IM21, the 36% rate cap on payday loans (although 5% of you negated your Yes on 21 with a Yes on Amendment U). Perhaps those equal numbers signal the equal moral and political indefensibility of gerrymandering and usury. However, another 75% backed IM 22, the Anti-Corruption Act, which has far more provisions and thus offers far more points of disagreement.

Blog support for T is higher than for V, which in August polled here at 64% in favor. That fits with what I’ve heard in party conversations and campaigning door to door, with more fellow Democrats making arguments of good conscience against what they see as weakening the party system by removing party affiliation from the ballot and offering a single, universal primary ballot to all voters.

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I don’t think Governor Daugaard participated in any of my polls, but he has weighed in with Bob Mercer. The good news is, the Governor has veered from his lazy “No on Everything but R” position. The bad news, he’s adopted an even worse position. Apparently spooked by reading that his one Yes on R would leave him in agreement with this liberal blogger on five out of ten ballot measures, Governor Daugaard clarifies that he’s casting a lazy Yes on Referred Law 19 and Referred Law 20:

Finally, I will vote for both referred measures 19 and 20. Neither of these were priorities for me when they were before the legislature, but the legislature passed them and I signed them, and so I will continue to support them [Gov. Dennis Daugaard, in Bob Mercer, “Where the Governor Stands on Ballot Measures,” Pure Pierre Politics, 2016.11.03].

I call those Yeses lazy because the Governor is not addressing the merits of either the Incumbent Protection Plan or the Novstrups’ youth minimum wage; he’s just going with the flow to avoid reversing himself. Come on, Governor Daugaard—it’s o.k. to admit you made a mistake!

The Governor’s only remaining points of agreement with me are Amendments S (California crime victims bill of rights) and U (payday lenders’ fake rate cap). Again, he avoids speaking to the specifics of each measure and sticks with the convenient SDGOP argument about “big out-of-state groups attempting to experiment in South Dakota,” a position that doesn’t lead the Governor to kick ALEC out of the Capitol.