Within 40 hours, Tim Bjorkman and Billie Sutton will learn whom they get to beat in the November elections for U.S. House and Governor. Within an hour (4 p.m. Central today on The Patrick Lalley Show on KSOO!) I’ll predict who the Republican victors in Tuesday’s big primary races will be.
I perch my predictions (bolded below) on the tips of horns of unicorns dancing on the following stilts:
- This Republican primary offers two interesting races with multiple competitive candidates. That will drive up turnout.
- The 2002 Republican primary offered comparable interesting races for U.S. House (Janklow, Pressler, Amdahl, Hunt, Tollefson) and Governor (Rounds, Barnett, Kirby) and drew 50.7% of registered Republicans to the polls.
- The 2010 Republican primary offered a similarly competitive U.S. House race (Noem, Nelson, Curd) and slightly less competitive Governor’s race (Daugaard, Munsterman, Knudson, Howie, Knuppe) and drew about 35% GOP turnout (interestingly, slightly higher in the less competitive Governor’s race).
- The 2014 Republican primary offered an interesting cast but less competitive characters in the U.S. Senate contest (Rounds, Rhoden, Nelson, Bosworth, Ravnsborg) and a non-competitive Governor’s race (Daugaard, Hubbel) and drew 31.4% turnout.
- Balancing interest and attention with a long-term downward trend in GOP primary voter turnout, and assuming little impact of Amendment Y on turnout because very few people know or care that it’s on the ballot, I predict 40% GOP turnout.
- Given Friday’s count of 249,985 registered Republicans, I predict we’ll see 100,000 Republican ballots turned in by 7 p.m. (Central and Mountain) tomorrow.
- I start with the U.S. House race among Dusty Johnson, Shantel Krebs, and Neal Tapio.
- In 2014, the GOP electorate voted in the U.S. Senate primary thus:
Candidate Vote % Votes Mike Rounds 55.54% 41,377 Larry Rhoden 18.25% 13,593 Stace Nelson 17.69% 13,179 Annette Bosworth 5.75% 4,283 Jason Ravnsborg 2.77% 2,066 74,498 turnout 31.47%
- For a variety of reasons, I guess that each 2018 House candidate will receive the following percentages of each 2014 Senate candidates’ voters:
Johnson Krebs Tapio Rounds voters 70% 25% 5% Rhoden voters 20% 60% 20% Nelson voters 5% 15% 80% Bosworth voters 15% 35% 50% Ravnsborg voters 15% 15% 70% Total 2014 share 33,294 22,286 18,918 Total 2018 vote 44,688 29,913 25,393 Total 2018 % 44.7% 29.9% 25.4%
- Rounds voters are establishment voters, and Johnson is far more the establishment candidate.
- Rhoden voters are West River types. Krebs is tough and good-looking and affirms their ranch lifestyle. Johnson and Tapio look and sound like sissies in their ears.
- Nelson voters hate the establishment and mostly love Trump. Tapio raised heck with Nelson on GOAC over GEAR UP.
- Bosworth voters are unreliable voters, easily swayed by catchy memes. Tapio thus plays well with them, if they remember to vote. Bosworth voters also include some voters who picked Bosworth just because she was the only woman on that ballot; thus, the non-Tapio drones will lean to Krebs.
- Ravnsborg likes whimpering about Sharia Law as much as Tapio does.
- I thus predict Johnson wins the GOP nomination for U.S. House with 45%, Krebs second with 30%, and Tapio last with a distressingly high 25%.
- More stilts: I now turn to the gubernatorial contest between Marty Jackley and Kristi Noem and guess what percentage of each U.S. House candidate’s voters they will win:
Jackley Noem Johnson 62% 38% Krebs 42% 58% Tapio 40% 60% Total 2018 vote 50,427 49,567 Total 2018 share 50.4% 49.6%
- Johnsonites want competence and a South Dakota team player. Jackley fits that mold better than Noem.
- Krebs voters will lean toward the lady in ranchy/farmy duds and toward the message of rooting out what’s wrong in Pierre, which Krebs did in the Secretary of State’s office and which Noem says she can do better than Jackley who’s been part of the problem in Pierre. But that’s a hard message to sell big among the Republican voters who own whatever problems are in Pierre, so that critique doesn’t buy Noem a big spread.
- Tapio voters will lean toward the Congresswoman who’s been Trump’s loyal soldier, but again, Jackley has positioned himself as more Trumpy than Noem, so that spread stays narrow.
- Thus, Jackley has a slight edge, less than one percentage point in my stilted calculations.
- Given the standard unicorns-on-stilts margin of error of something just slightly larger than the broad side of the Sutton Ranch barn, I agree with the May 21-23 KELO/SF paper poll and even with the unsubstantiated internal polling claim Team Jackley is making: Dusty Johnson posts a solid win, while Jackley and Noem are still too close to call.
Dusty, cruise through tomorrow. Marty, it’s time to launch the estate tax attack. If you don’t, there’s a higher chance that Billie will have to break that missile out in October.