DWU Poll: Legislators approve of Daugaard; Gingrich is presidential choice for GOPA recent poll revealed the state’s legislators overwhelmingly approve of the job being done by Gov. Dennis Daugaard, and Republican legislators favor Newt Gingrich for president.
By: Chris Mueller, The Daily Republic
A recent poll revealed the state’s legislators overwhelmingly approve of the job being done by Gov. Dennis Daugaard, and Republican legislators favor Newt Gingrich for president.
The survey, by Dakota Wesleyan University, showed 81 percent of South Dakota legislators rated the performance of Gov. Daugaard and Lt. Gov. Matt Michels as excellent or good.
Opinions seemed to be drawn along party lines, as only Democratic legislators rated the governor’s performance as either fair or poor.
Republican legislators were less unanimous in their support of who should be their party’s next presidential candidate.
Gingrich had the most support as the GOP legislators’ first choice, at 42 percent.
“For anyone who has had experience with the legislative process, it is no surprise to see Newt Gingrich so popular among his peers with legislative experience,” said Donald Simmons, dean of the College of Leadership and Public Service at DWU.
Herman Cain and Mitt Romney also found significant support from South Dakota’s Republican legislators, getting 23 percent and 15 percent of the responses, respectively, while several other candidates drew lower numbers.
Mitt Romney, despite coming in third in the first-choice poll, was most favored by Republican legislators when asked who their second choice would be.
Legislators from both parties were optimistic about the future of South Dakota’s economy, with half of Democrats and 67 percent of Republicans rating the state’s economic outlook as excellent or good.
“It is good to see that even with all the partisan differences of opinion on the effectiveness of leadership, there was still a bipartisan assessment of the economy,” said Justin Mitchell, McGovern Center research coordinator and DWU senior.
When asked how they rated the job performance of their own legislative leadership during the 2011 session, 73 percent of legislators chose “excellent” or “good,” and 27 percent chose “fair” or “poor.” Partisan division was apparent, as 92 percent of Democrats called the performance of legislative leadership fair or poor and 90 percent of Republicans called it good or excellent.
The survey of the 105 members of both chambers of the state Legislature was run by the McGovern Center for Leadership and Public Service at DWU between Nov. 10 and Nov. 28 and garnered a response rate of 58 percent. The margin of error is plus or minus 8 percent for the entire legislative sample.
The undergraduate student research coordinators for the project were Mitchell and Kelby Van Wyk.