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Nelson, Rhoden Thrash Rounds in Latest Madville Times Poll

The latest Madville Times poll finds Rep. Stace Nelson and Sen. Larry Rhoden winning a big majority of blog readers' votes in South Dakota's Republican primary race for U.S. Senate. In voting from Friday, December 20, through this morning, 473 of you (a strong blog turnout!) responded to the question, "If the primary were today, who'd get your vote in the GOP Senate primary?" The results:

Stace Nelson 211 45%
Larry Rhoden 179 38%
Mike Rounds 56 12%
Jason Ravnsborg 15 3%
Annette Bosworth 12 3%

With a standard blog margin of error just slightly larger than the range of the warplanes Jason Ravnsborg likes to pose in front of, here are some possible interpretations:

  1. True to their candidate's own 20th-century predilections, Mike Rounds's supporters don't spend much time on the Internet.
  2. Contrary to expectations, voters seeking a strong conservative candidate are more likely to be reading this liberal South Dakota blog than the supposed moderates, RINOs, and Democrats-lite whom Stace Nelson would say are backing Rounds.
  3. If there was any get-out-the-vote effort, Teams Nelson and Rhoden demonstrated their ability to reach online supporters. Meanwhile, Team Ravnsborg may lack any such online organizing ability, while Team Bosworth seems to be turning its vaunted social media muscle toward new scams.

We have a week and a day until the next big test of campaign organization skills takes place, as candidates can launch their nominating petition drives on January 1. Stay tuned!


  1. Lynn G. 2013.12.24

    I'm glad to see Nelson in the lead for this Republican poll but was definitely surprised to see Rhoden do as well as he as. I don't know much about him but those Rhoden's Rhangers including Grudz must be quietly but surely building up. I wonder if they serve up some taters and gravy at their political get togethers. Yum! lol

  2. interested party 2013.12.24

    Exactly, Cory: the average Rounds supporter must be north of 60 so your poll really does just reinforce our own suspicions that the Wadhams strategy to dilute the pool is working.

  3. Lynn G. 2013.12.24

    Worst case scenario almost anyone but Rounds.

  4. John Tsitrian 2013.12.24

    My friend at the Rapid City Public Library tells me that Larry Rhoden had a meet and greet there last week. 8 people showed up, including the RCJ reporter who covered it and a couple of family members.

  5. Lanny V Stricherz 2013.12.24

    Rhoden was Round's waterboy in the House. They are both RINOs but they both are self servers. Neither would look out for a veteran or for the common person. They both would be subservient to the corporate interests. They were/are both involved in the Economic Development fiasco that we have seen in state for the last ten years.

  6. Donald Pay 2013.12.24

    I didn't vote. It's not just because I'm in Wisconsin. I don't know Ravnsborg at all, but the rest of the slate of candidates is uninteresting to me. In the case of Rounds and Bosworth, there are ethical problems so severe as to be disqualifying. Nelson is too much the Teaparty hack. Rhoden is just a cipher. He'll be whatever he needs to be to get your vote, then who know? It's a disasterous primary campaign for the Republicans.

  7. interested party 2013.12.24

    I couldn't make myself vote either. Don, do you know Matthew Koehler?

  8. Lynn G. 2013.12.24

    Weiland will get my vote in the general election though I'm tempted to register as a Republican for the primary.

  9. Tara Volesky 2013.12.24

    This poll is very impressive for Stace Nelson. First of all, the people who read Madville Times tend to lean to the left, which means their support would go to a moderate such as Rounds, or Rhoden. It just goes to should how serious this political corruption scandal is. Stace is not affiliated with the EB-5 and corporate cronyism. He is fighting against corruption and people are taking note. I think he is going to emerge from the pack and win in June. The lack of Washington and Wall Street money is in his favor. I think the candidates with the least amount of money has the best chance to win. Those are the ones that are truly grass roots and represent the common folk, not the corporations.

  10. interested party 2013.12.24

    Ms. Volesky: your naiveté is positively refreshing.

  11. Cranky Old Dude 2013.12.24

    Liberal-smiberal...liberal or not this just might be the best site for SD political news. I suspect many of us don't like RINOs irregardless of our personal political views. Cory does a good job of exposing corruption and malfeasance in the Old Boy Network without regard to party.

  12. grudznick 2013.12.24

    Ms. Volesky, this poll is very impressive for Mr. Rhoden. The libbies all want Mr. Nelson to win because he is electable and a train wreck waiting to happen. His votes came from about 12 of the Nelson minions and the rest were mischievous libbies. The Rhoden Rangers came out in force and showed why Mr. Rhoden is gaining tremendously on Rounds and is about to move into first place in most polls.

  13. Tara Volesky 2013.12.24

    Cory, I believe if you took a private polling of the SD Legislature on the Benda case, the majority would believe Benda was murdered. It will eventually come out, but we need a new Governor that will pursue it.

  14. grudznick 2013.12.24

    Who murdered him, Ms. Volesky?

    I have an unrelated question also. Are you related to Ron?

  15. Tara Volesky 2013.12.24

    Cranky Old Dude, you are so right, if everybody read Madville Times about all the corruption and cronyism that is going on in SD, Rounds and Daugaard and Jackley would be history.

  16. caheidelberger Post author | 2013.12.24

    Cranky, Tara, your compliments are the best Christmas gifts a blogger could ask for. Thank you for your respect and your readership.

  17. Tara Volesky 2013.12.24

    Grudznick, Yes, I am his wife........Who killed Benda?........People or a person who lost out on millions, and was lied to about the business plan. Just my opinion.

  18. grudznick 2013.12.24

    Merry Christmas to you and Ron.

  19. Ken Santema 2013.12.24

    I think the only surprise I'm seeing here is the high numbers for Rhoden. I wonder if this poll shows Rhoden would gain a lot more overall moderate support than Rounds in a general election. Granted, the crowd that comes here has read more than enough posts to dislike rounds due to EB-5/GOED/etc.., but there really haven't been any posts promoting Rhoden. It might almost be a bad situation for Weiland if Rhoden wins the Republican primary and draws more moderate independent votes in the general.

    But then as you say polls like this have a margin of error that could fit in an A10; still interesting though.

  20. grudznick 2013.12.24

    Mr. H, would you wager that the results of the real primary will be somewhat in line with your mock poll here?

  21. TG 2013.12.24

    I was very impressed by Rhoden's outcome! Especially, Cory, because this part was not invoked "get-out-the-vote effort". I thought about it but never got around to it so this was with no prompting from the campaign anyway and I am thrilled about the results!

    John T. - what you refer to at the library was not a meet and greet/fundraiser. It was a press release to get a message out publicly. It was to be press only. Sad that some people turn it into what they want to perceive it to be without getting factual information. Rhoden is not about flash if you knew him.

    Lanny - I disagree. I just don't understand how someone gets elected into leadership over and over by their peers and running unopposed by peers, etc. in the House and Senate if they have the attributes you state... It doesn't make any sense in my opinion.

  22. TG 2013.12.24

    Good poll, Cory!!

  23. TG 2013.12.24

    Just curious if anyone noticed any candidate(s) that has no ties to or involvement in a scandal or the likes thereof whatsoever... Yes, my candidate. ;-)

  24. John Tsitrian 2013.12.24

    Thank you for the information, TG. Joe O'Sullivan's report in the RCJ characterized it as a "campaign event", reported that Rhoden used a podium, and referenced the "crowd that showed up" numbering 7 or 8 people. I use the term "meet and greet" to describe any event at which a candidate is meeting the public. That the reporter referenced the turnout as a "crowd" implies to me that he expected something more than a meeting that was limited to just the press. That Rhoden used a public meeting room in a public facility, along with a podium, also suggests that Rhoden's appearance was geared to a public turnout. This is the "factual information" that was the source for my comment and on the basis of it I stand by my observation that it was a "meet and greet."

  25. caheidelberger Post author | 2013.12.24

    I appreciate John's careful attention to the facts and text presented.

  26. grudznick 2013.12.24

    It was not a meet and greet any more than your dinner this evening is a free taters for any comers old men event.

  27. grudznick 2013.12.24

    You fellows must take me for some sort of apple knocker, eh?

  28. Disgusted Dakotan 2013.12.24

    The Rhoden people are way too defensive. He has shown 0 momentum for months, and has been near the bottom of every poll, with 0 interest even in Rapid as Mr Tsitrian pointed out, Yet, he showed lethargic support for the majority of the poll then mysteriously he "surged" in this poll two times the last 2 days without engaging their supporters as "TG" brags? Doesn't add up.

  29. grudznick 2013.12.24

    Mr. Disgusted, I, for one, think that Mr. H runs an honest poll.

  30. Lanny V Stricherz 2013.12.24

    I tend toward socialism and liberalism, but am a registered Republican because of the primaries. There are seldom two Dems running for the same office so why be in that primary. Why not at least have a voice in who is elected. Having said both of those things, I voted for Nelson because I don't know Ravensborg, and although Nelson is ideologically the furthest from me on social issues, I at least see him as honest. The other three, I would not trust as far as I could throw them (to use a childhood phrase) and as a 72 year old, I couldn't throw them very far.

  31. Douglas Wiken 2013.12.24

    Get one house of the legislature based on a slate and all primaries would be interesting and so would party slate elections. Legislature might even work as a representative body instead of a tool of whatever Republican Jerk is in the Governor's office.

  32. Jenny 2013.12.24

    That Larry Rhoden is one goodlooking guy. If he had more substance to him, he would be giving Rounds a helluva run. Very photogenic, though.

  33. Bree S. 2013.12.24

    Too bad his tongue swells up every time he tries to talk.

  34. Bree S. 2013.12.24

    Lanny, its nice to meet an honest RINO, and I don't mean that sarcastically.

  35. Lanny V Stricherz 2013.12.24

    Well Bree, I was a DINO before I was and Independent, and before switching to the Republican party. At the national level, I find both parties so in bed with corporate America, or should I say corporate world. I am more a Ralph Nader, Dennis Kucinich advocate. But that ain't ever going to happen. That ship sailed when the Clinton/ George H W Bush election had the scare from Ross Perot and the chance that someone other than the two major parties would win the Presidency. No one else will ever be allowed to enter the race if they don't have a D or an R after their name.

  36. grudznick 2013.12.24

    Mrs. Bree, how 'bout them Rhoden Rhangers coming out big in the vote without even being prompted by the campaign? When Larry starts the real campaign in a couple months and shows how he is a legislature of substance for about the 12th time the people will really be flocking to him.

  37. Deb Geelsdottir 2013.12.24

    Yes Lanny! I've always admired Dennis Kucinich. He's a man of impeccable morals and courage. He says what he believes regardless of consequences.

  38. TG 2013.12.24

    I also was just laying out the facts and not being defensive actually. The same press conference was held in Sioux Falls on Wednesday at a public library. No one but the press was invited or encouraged to go; same thing for Rapid. Those are the facts is all I am stating. I'm a sucker for details and facts, sorry! :-) And not bragging whatsoever, just very surprised for this website that he did so well without any "get out the vote effort" at all. And very encouraged.

    And John - in your defense, the author is fairly new so I've heard and I've thought to email him as well just to keep to facts. Again, I'm a stickler for the facts.

    Merry Cristmas to all! And I mean that sincerely!

  39. Lanny V Stricherz 2013.12.25

    grudznick and TG, how do you know that the Rhoden backers had no prompting? And how does Rhoden come off so squeaky clean in your eyes when he was the Republican leader in the House four of Rounds years as Governor? If our part time legislature has no power to do anything except promote ALEC ideas, we might as well get rid of them, although I don't think that is the case.

  40. Taunia 2013.12.25

    Why did Chad vote only 12 times for Bosworth?

  41. grudznick 2013.12.25

    Mr. Strichez, I have read that Mr. Rhoden led the charge against Governor Rounds on many issues, pushing the agenda towards the conservative side of social issues but also getting more money for schools. That should appeal to the teachers and others.

  42. Rick 2013.12.25

    So far, the only candidate in this primary resembling a professional effort is Dick Wadham's candidate. He's keeping his pie hole shut and his head down, ducking debates and stonewalling the press. His dilemma is can he remain submerged long enough, relying on the public's memory of Smilin' Mike, until this thing blows over. It's his only option if he's staying in the race.

    Rhoden is running as if he were running for State Senate back in Union Center. If he's gaining ground, it can only be from the public fallout of the Rounds GOED Scandal. He might be somewhat photogenic, but he's got his opening in this campaign to put a stake through the Rounds candidacy and push Rounds out of the race ... for the good of our state and our Republican Party, of course. This would require guts and a smooth veneer for the former Rounds work horse to ruthlessly stash Rounds away as a fallen politician embroiled in our state's worst political scandal ever.

    Stace also has an opening here, but his long term antagonism with Rounds makes him a less credible agent to plunge the stake than Rhoden. Stace needs to go back and think outside the box to break away from this corpse we call the GOP Senate primary. Rhoden doesn't have the balls to pull out of the Rounds orbit.

    Rovnsborg is a hot dog who thinks he can run on his phony Top Gun image, kinda like Clint Roberts who posed in a contest to be the Marlboro Man but was never, ever named the Marlboro Man. What Clint had on Rovnsborg was a record of service in politics and government to work the cliche. All Rovnsborg has is the cliche.

    And then you've got silly Annette Bosworth and her posings in her doctor jacket and stethoscope. Oh yeah, and a pile of really big problems with the State Attorney General and the U.S. Attorney for apparent fiscal fraud.

    Great blog poll, Cory, and very entertaining posts, my Madville pals.

    Merry Christmas y'all!

  43. caheidelberger Post author | 2013.12.25

    Taunia, if Chad didn't stuff the ballot box, it could be ADHD kicked in and distracted him with other money-making schemes.

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