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Poll: South Dakota GOP incumbents in strong positions; Ravnsborg holding little support

South Dakota Republican Party
South Dakota Republican Party(MGN/Republican National Committee)
Published: May. 17, 2022 at 10:26 AM CDT
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SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (Dakota News Now) - A new poll published by South Dakota State University suggests Republicans holding statewide office are in solid position maintaining party support, while the same cannot be said for embattled Attorney General Jason Ravnsborg.

Gov. Kristi Noem, Sen. John Thune, and Rep. Dusty Johnson each hold strong leads over their opponents in the upcoming Republican primary races, according to the poll published Monday by the SDSU School of American and Global Studies. South Dakota primary elections will take place Tuesday, June 7.

The poll found 61% of likely Republican primary voters indicated they would vote for Noem in the primary for governor. Her opponent Steven Haugaard received 17%, while 22% of respondents were not sure.

Thune and Johnson also enjoyed wide support, though not quite as pronounced as Noem’s. The survey found 46% of Republicans plant to vote for Thune in the Senate primary, while 41% are unsure. Thune’s opponents Bruce Whalen and Mark Mowry combined for only 14% support. Meantime, 53% said they plan to vote for Johnson, 30% were unsure, and 17% said they would vote for Taffy Howard in the House primary race.

SDSU’s poll found roughly 70% of South Dakotans believe Ravnsborg should be removed from office for his role in a fatal 2020 crash. The House voted to impeach Ravnsborg last month. His fate will ultimately be decided by the state Senate in an impeachment trial set for June 21.

The survey also asked respondents their preference for the next Republican Attorney General candidate, even though that is decided by party convention, not by voters. The poll did not include David Natvig, who only recently announced plans to seek the office. Over 60% preferred Marty Jackley versus only 6% in favor of Ravnsborg. Roughly 1/3 were still undecided.

SDSU Associate Professor of Political Science David Wiltse oversaw the poll, which was conducted May 2 through May 15.

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