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Dubious Push Poll Claims Noem-Jackley Tie, Broad SD Support for Con-Con

“Moore Information” claims to have robopolled 300 South Dakota Republicans last Thursday and found Kristi Noem “leading” Marty Jackley in the race for the Republican gubernatorial nomination 40% to 35%. Kristi Noem treated that like a special Valentine for her campaign, but that small sample produces a margin of error of ±6 percentage points; thus, “leading” must be placed in supercilious quotes. If the poll has any merit, the results show the leading GOP candidates in a dead heat.

The press release announcing the poll should raise more eyebrows. A group called Convention of the States Action pushed the poll and apparently used push questions to get 72% of likely Republican primary voters to say, Sure, let’s have call a Convention of the States and hope it produces a balanced budget amendment. COS Action quoted Lynne DiSanto, not Kristi Noem, in the release, showing their focus was more on pushing DiSanto’s Senate Joint Resolution 3, another tedious convention call that drew gobs of proponents and opponents from South Dakota’s whackdoodliest right-wingers (Doug Post! Kitty Werthmann! Linda Schuaer! Bircher Baptist Michael Boyle!) but not a peep from any of the Clinton/Soros leftists whom DiSanto and COS Action insist are out to stop their fed-wrecking convention. DiSanto’s push poll didn’t help her in the Senate, where SJR 3 died yesterday 16–18.

The poll press release also led with the claim that Moore Information is “a South Dakota-based research firm.”

Moore Information Push Poll press release, 2018.02.14.
Moore Information Push Poll press release, 2018.02.14.

Bob Mercer says that ain’t so:

Moore Information has offices in Portland, Oregon; Washington, D.C.; and Missoula, Montana. The company traditionally works for Republican candidates but has been active on ballot measures and for state and local governments, national organizations and businesses.

Its South Dakota experience was on the opponent side of the 2006 proposed state constitutional amendment that would have expanded judicial liability. South Dakota voters rejected Amendment E with 35,641 marking yes and 294,734 marking no [Bob Mercer, “Noem Leading Jackley, Poll Says,” Pure Pierre Politics, 2018.02.15].

My check of Moore Information’s website shows no apparent affiliation with South Dakota other than the 2006 JAIL amendment Mercer mentions.

But jeepers: first the Marsy’s Law lobbyist from Las Vegas tells House State Affairs she’s from Pierre, then some push-pollers say their Oregon pollster is really based in South Dakota. Throw in the RVers and other license-plate tax dodgers, and that’s a lot of people pretending they’re from South Dakota.

This poll seems dubious on multiple counts. It’s less interested in an actual gubernatorial race with actual implications and more in pushing the hobbyhorse of a few fringe Republicans who can’t even tell the truth about where they get their flimsy numbers.


  1. Bucko Bear 2018-02-15 23:30

    Well, I’d certainly have someone stupid as opposed to someone evil.

  2. Cory Allen Heidelberger Post author | 2018-02-16 03:46

    Buckobear, if those are the only choices on the table. But whom do you think Billie Sutton can more easily beat, stupid or evil?

  3. Darrell Reifenrath 2018-02-16 11:18

    Has the resolution for a “Convention of the States” been considered? Curious. This is a great idea for those who think the Koch brothers can write a better constitution than the founding fathers.

  4. jerry 2018-02-16 19:59

    Maybe NOem can answer the question of why she is not pushing the sanctions on the Russians. She worked on passing the sanctions and then her boyfriend trump ignored them. Today, there are 13 Russian nationals that have been indicted over election rigging. Time to stop play acting and get with the program. So the question would be to NOem is why don’t you demand trump’s signature on the sanctions you all agreed to?

  5. A Nicer Person 2018-02-17 09:56

    Interesting that “South Dakotan”‘s don’t even know it’s “Noem” and not “Noemi.”

  6. John Tsitrian 2018-02-17 21:18

    In ’08 Moore Information was subpoenad by a grand jury in New Hampshire that was investigating whether the company conducted illegal push polling. Some questions by the pollsters are included in the story. Check out the Qs on Mormonism:

  7. Cory Allen Heidelberger Post author | 2018-02-18 08:26

    Our old friend David Montgomery tells me on Twitter that Moore’s poll here doesn’t really count as a push poll, since it wasn’t sent out to lots of people with the sole intent of persuading them. Montgomery says the preferred term here would be “message-testing.”

    But there’s clearly some push involved. The Con Con people wanted to push the Legislature to vote for DiSanto’s silly resolution. They threw in the Noem/Jackley question to get press attention.

  8. grudznick 2018-02-18 15:03

    Mr. H, I expect Mr. Sutton can more easily beat stupid than evil, which is why he’ll get some votes from the public, who are more stupid than evil.

    Evil is nefarious, and has tricks up their sleeve that Mr. Sutton cannot fathom from his viewpoint. Although, Mr. Sutton himself is somewhat evil as well. But not stupid.

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