Oh, you crazy readers! The latest Madville Times polls asked you to vote for your favorites in the Democratic gubernatorial primary, the Republican Senate primary, and the Republican gubernatorial primary. I asked the questions in that order, and I present the answers in that order... which I also believe reflects the ascending order of unlikelihood:
Democrats for Governor:
- Joe Lowe: 73% (165 votes)
- Susan Wismer: 27% (62)
Republicans for Senate:
- Larry Rhoden: 46% (179)
- Stace Nelson: 35% (135)
- Mike Rounds: 8% (30)
- Jason Ravnsborg: 7% (29)
- Annette Bosworth: 4% (14)
Republicans for Governor:
- Lora Hubbel: 63% (210)
- Dennis Daugaard: 37% (125)
Lowe, Rhoden, and Hubbel—we do love the underdogs here (which shows I'm reaching my intended audience). How do we explain these results (other than saying, "It's a blog! Har de har har!)?
Lowe is the least under of the dogs. Against Susan Wismer's inherent advantage as an experienced party establishment candidate, he has mounted a vigorous and credible statewide campaign with smart advisors and straight talk. He wins an advantage here perhaps in part because we haven't heard much in response from Wismer, who only started campaigning in earnest after tax season ended.
----------Update 08:50 MDT: Lowe's Black Hills neighbor John Tsitrian contends that Lowe should beat Wismer on specifity over reticence.--------------
Rhoden again showed he has a lot of followers online willing to turn out and click his name when offered the opportunity, even on a liberal website. Recall that in December, Rhoden finished second behind Nelson among readers here. Rhoden actually pulled the same number of votes this time, but fewer folks showed up to click for Nelson. Remember that Rhoden and this blog share connections to Madison, so that Madison audience could be turning out big for the West River rancher (watch for Lake County to be an island of western turquoise for Rhoden amidst a electoral checkerboard of Nelson red and Rounds blue on June 3).
Rounds is clueless about the Internet, so we wouldn't expect them to show up in representative numbers here. Rounds is still the favorite. Nelson has made the hardest pitch for the anti-Rounds vote, assembling what appears to be the largest grassroots campaign and the strongest visibility of anyone not named Mike. But South Dakotans have a timid streak, and Nelson makes enough people mad that, if they are looking for a Rounds alternative, they might default to the safe, clean, and manly Rhoden.
And then there's Lora Hubbel. Readers may have turned out strong for Hubbel in part because she has been willing to share her views on a variety of issues with this blog, despite the fact that I've swung the Tea-Party-crazy club at her. She's shown that even amidst our disagreement, we can find common ground on important issues... and I get the impression that's as important to you, dear readers, as it is to me.
I doubt, alas, that that goodwill has gotten out much beyond these pages and various Tea Party meetings. Hubbel doesn't have as large of a ground game as Dennis Daugaard. Hubbel will win a protest vote from Republicans who get a bad taste in their mouths from the Rounds-Daugaard administration's GOED/EB-5 errors. She'll get votes from two thirds of the folks who vote for Nelson. But a strong majority will still nominate Daugaard.
Thank you, dear readers, for casting your votes! As always, I invite your interpretation of the results. Now don't forget to vote in the real primary June 3!