Governor Kristi Noem continues to swamp Republican primary challenger Steven Haugaard in campaign fundraising.
Candidates for Governor had to file pre-primary reports accounting for all contributions received between January 1 and May 18. Any contributions of $500 or more received after that date and before the June 7 primary must be reported in a supplemental filing within 48 hours of receipt (SDCL 12-27-28).
Since May 18, Noem has filed nine supplemental campaign finance reports documenting 104 contributions of $500 or more totaling $132,364.57. That’s about $8,800 a day, and that’s not counting the 10s, 20s, and 250s she may be getting from individuals. Her fundraising pace from January 1 through May 18 was about $22,000 a day, including donations under $500; we would expect fundraising during the last three weeks before a primary to be slower than normal, since this close to an election, a candidate is probably focused less on raising money and more on getting out the vote.
But even that $8,800 a day outperforms Haugaard’s fundraising. In the last two weeks, Haugaard has filed one supplemental report showing four contributions totaling $3,500. That’s about $230 a day from big donors. Since launching his campaign in November, Haugaard has raised a total of only $112,526 (that’s not counting the $49,541.27 he has paid from his own pocket and his own Legislative campaign fund; we’re talking just the money he’s convinced other people to put into his campaign for governor). So in 15 days, Kristi Noem has raised more money than Steven Haugaard has raised in 200.
Noem’s $500+ donations in the past two weeks have also shown a much stronger South Dakota bent. 78% of the cash reported on Noem’s supplementals from May 19 through June 2, $103,244.06, came from South Dakota donors. That’s far better than the 40.5% in-state percentage I estimate for Noem’s January 1–May 18 campaign income, though still not better than the 95%+ I estimate for Haugaard over that same period and the 100% South Dakota sourcing of his four reported supplemental contributions. The next biggest sources of Noem’s recent big donations were residents of Texas and Florida, with each state chipping in $7,500.
Money isn’t everything, but it is a vote of confidence. And it appears that, after Noem and Haugaard have had months to make their case for leading South Dakota, the folks inclined to write big checks to Republicans are confident they want to be on a horse with Kristi.