Nielson Brothers Polling has released the second part of their Sioux Falls municipal poll, in which they show incumbent Mayor Mike Huether with a moderate 48-36 lead over challenger Greg Jamison.
I’m still waiting on the full question order and crosstabs from the poll, though it does raise an eyebrow that the poll appears to have asked respondents’ opinion about the direction of the city and the two candidates and city council before asking about the head-to-head matchup. Anything you ask respondents before a head-to-head question can influence how they’re thinking when the main question comes up.
Heuther, in the poll, has a slightly higher approval rating than Jamison (a lower-profile figure), but also higher disapproval. Subtracting “strongly disapprove” from “strongly approve,” Huether is +21 and Jamison is +17.
They also poll the at-large city council races, finding a dead heat in the Christine Erickson-Denny Pierson race, but a firm 34-20-7 lead for incumbent Rex Rolfing over Manny Steele and Emmett Reistroffer in the other at-large race — though both races had high levels of undecided voters.
NBP is still establishing its track record, so it’ll be interesting to see how this poll compares to the actual results.
The poll was conducted from March 18 to March 20, via automated push-button response, with between 500 and 600 registered voters responding to different questions.
UPDATE: Some very interesting tidbits in the crosstabs for the poll, which NBP gave me access to.
Here’s two, focusing on how voters break down by party affiliation and ideology.
NBP asked respondents whether they were a Democrat, Republican or an independent. Among Democrats, Huether (a Democrat) beats Jamison (a Republican) 61-27. Among Republicans, Jamison has a slender 44-40 lead. Huether leads among independents 42-32. (There were 238 Democrats, 251 Republicans and 80 independents.)
Respondents were also asked if they consider their ideas to be liberal (96 respondents), moderate (168), conservative (196), or aligned with the Tea Party (60).
Among liberals, Huether leads 65-16. He also leads moderates 54-33. The decisive factor is Huether combining that with a 45-37 lead among conservatives. Only among Tea Partiers does Jamison lead, 56-29.
All of that shows why the poll showed a lead for Huether — if Jamison is running as a Republican candidate, he has to do better than a 4-point lead among Republican voters.
I also scrolled down to look at the at large council races for one more tidbit. Overall, Rex Rolfing has a huge lead in the At Large A race, with 34 percent to 20 percent for Manny Steele and 7 percent for Emmett Reistroffer. If you look at the crosstabs by ideology, Rolfing has big leads among moderates and liberals, and a narrow lead among conservatives. But Steele wins Tea Party voters 38-25 — about what you’d expect, given Steele’s outspoken conservatism in the state Legislature.