Gov. Noem launches website targeting opponent

Published: Aug. 2, 2022 at 10:25 PM CDT
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SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (Dakota News Now) - Governor Kristi Noem took aim at her opponent in the November election, Jamie Smith, Tuesday.

Her campaign launched a new website targeting the democrat.

The website, JamieandJoe.com, aligns Smith with President Biden and his policies, and claims the state representative is “out of touch with South Dakota.”

The notion is something Smith strongly refutes.

“I’m a common sense South Dakotan working to solve common sense problems in the state of South Dakota,” Smith said. “When I look at the website she put up, there is a lot of fearmongering in it.”

Last week, Smith released a pair of TV ads, attacking Noem.

The reveal of JamieandJoe.com is just the latest domino to fall in this political back-and-forth.

Dave Wiltse, a political science professor at South Dakota State University, says the type of strategy used by the two candidates so far is typical.

“Part of it is just that we expect it, and this has been the practice now for 40 years,” Wiltse said. “The tactics have changed, the mediums have changed, but we just expect candidates to do as much messaging as they can.”

Wiltse says it makes sense for Noem to link her opponent to a figure she believes her constituents don’t like.

“This is just standard practice, particularly when you have an unpopular President,” Wiltse said.

Wiltse adds, that Noem’s path to re-election, relies heavily upon her track record and party affiliation.

“So much of elections are just baked into the underlying partisanship of a given electorate and the prevailing conditions nationally, and right now that just helps Republicans across the board,” Wiltse said.

But, Wiltse says, the real advantage comes from deep pockets.

“We’re seeing all the hallmarks of a lopsided race,” Wiltse said. “We have a very popular governor versus a democratic upstart, we have a huge fundraising imbalance between the two campaigns, and I expect to see a massive spending imbalance in the end.”

As for Smith, he will need to make himself stand out if he wants a real shot at victory come November.

“The reality is that (South Dakota) is just not a nice place to run as a Democrat for a statewide office,” Wiltse said.

Dakota News Now reached out to Governor Noem’s campaign about the new website, but she declined to comment. Instead, her campaign said they’d let the website speak for itself.

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