In July, the Nielson Brothers showed one-point leads for Kristi Noem and Kristie Fiegen. (That’s bad for the Republicans/good for the Democrats!)
In September, they showed nine to 10 point leads for Noem and Fiegen. (That’s good the Republicans/bad for the Democrats!)
Now in early October, the Nielson Brothers are showing somewhere in between.
A new poll was conducted Oct. 1 through Oct. 5, with 730 to 762 respondents (it varied per question) and a margin of error between 3.55 and 3.63 percent.
In it, they show the following:
- Romney +10.5 (51.6 Romney-41.1 Obama)
- Noem +5.7 (49.3 Noem - 43.6 Varilek)
- Nelson +26.4 (55.1 Nelson - 28.7 Nemec)
- Fiegen +2.1 (38.6 Fiegen - 36.5 McGovern - 8.5 Clarke)
Obama’s job approval is 43 percent. Noem’s is 53 percent. Prior NBP polls of the PUC race did not include Libertarian Russell Clarke.
So far the Nielson Brothers have provided the only publicly released polling of South Dakota races this year. They have their critics in the press and especially among Republicans, due to a short and uneven track record and the ties of one of the Nielson brothers, Paul Nielson, to the South Dakota Democratic Party.
I’d say definitely take these numbers with a grain of salt. But until I see other polling suggesting I should, I’d hesitate to dismiss NBP’s polling out of hand as some people encourage me to do.