Here’s the weirdest little statistic I’ve been able to pull out of Tuesday’s primary results so far. Looking across the county-level results for the two big Republican primaries for Governor and U.S. House, I find the strongest correlation lies between the vote totals of gubernatorial nominee Kristi Noem and Congressional number-three Neal Tapio. Counties that went harder for Noem also tended to vote more for Tapio:
The correlation coefficient is 0.513, not bonkers-strong, but it’s there.
In the seven counties that Noem lost to Marty Jackley, Neal Tapio finished third. In six of the seven counties where Noem clobbered Jackley with over 70% of the vote, Tapio placed second, above Shantel Krebs.
I’m not sure what to make of that Noem/Tapio correlation. If there was any preference for a female candidate in the Governor’s race (and Noem has not been playing up that angle), it certainly didn’t spill over to benefit Shantel Krebs; it leaned strangely toward the misogynist but single (misogynist thus single?) Ward Cleaver who advertised that he’s “good-looking” (which I still refuse to believe: Neal Tapio does not project sex appeal). Combined with my Legislative primary data showing female candidates posting the same success rate as men in Tuesday’s vote, this correlation seems to show that gender politics was not a primary criterion on voters’ minds.