NBP survey: Noem's lead over Varilek shrinks to 5.7 pointsThe most recent Nielson Brothers Polling survey of likely South Dakota voters shows Republican Rep. Kristi Noem leading Democratic challenger Matt Varilek by 5.7 percentage points (49.3 to 43.6 percent) with 7.1 percent undecided.
By: Staff reports, The Daily Republic
The most recent Nielson Brothers Polling survey of likely South Dakota voters shows Republican Rep. Kristi Noem leading Democratic challenger Matt Varilek by 5.7 percentage points (49.3 to 43.6 percent) with 7.1 percent undecided.
Noem’s lead is down from her 8.8-point lead, 50.8 to 42.0 percent, in the NBP Labor Day Survey. NBP released the new results Friday morning as Noem and Varilek prepared for a debate later the same day.
The NBP survey shows Noem’s job approval at 53.4 percent, compared with 54.7 percent approval in September. Of those who approve, 24.4 percent “strongly approve” and 29.0 percent “somewhat approve.” Conversely, 46.6 percent disapprove of Noem’s job performance, with 28.9 percent saying they “strongly disapprove” and 17.7 percent saying they “somewhat disapprove.”
Other Republican candidates continue to lead Democratic rivals in other poll results.
“The Republican candidates remain ahead but with smaller advantages compared to last month,” said Paul Nielson, president of Nielson Brothers Polling. “The closest battle appears to be for PUC, where Libertarian Russell Clarke takes votes from Kristie Fiegen, helping Matt McGovern stay close. Both PUC races have much higher undecideds, at 16 percent, than do the races for the presidency and the U.S. House.”
In the survey, running Oct. 1-5, Republican candidate Mitt Romney leads by 10.5 points (51.6 to 41.1 percent) over President Barack Obama, with 7.2 percent undecided. Romney led Obama by 53.9 to 38.7 percent in the NBP Labor Day Survey.
Incumbent Republican Chris Nelson again holds a strong advantage over Democrat Nick Nemec by 26.4 points (55.1 percent to 28.7 percent), with 16.2 percent undecided, in one of South Dakota’s two races for the Public Utilities Commission.
In the second PUC contest, Libertarian candidate Russell Clarke appears to pull support from Republican Kristie Fiegen, narrowing her advantage over Democratic challenger Matt McGovern. Fiegen now leads by 2.1 points, with 38.6 percent of support, over McGovern’s 36.5 percent and Clarke’s 8.5 percent. Another 16.4 percent of respondents say they are undecided. Last month, without Clarke’s name in the survey, Fiegen enjoyed a 10.5-point advantage (47.0 to 36.5 percent).
NBP continues to ask whether voters support the Republican or the Democratic state Senate candidate in their legislative district. The generic Republican Senate candidates hold a 43.7 to 37.0 percent lead in NBP’s October survey, with 19.3 percent undecided. Measured by region, Republican candidates lead by 10.9 points (47.1 to 36.2 percent) among West River voters, by 10.2 pointsw (44.6 to 34.4 percent) in the Sioux Falls Metro area (Minnehaha and Lincoln counties), and by 1.1 points (40.9 to 39.8 percent) East River outside of Metro Sioux Falls.
NBP also asked participants to evaluate President Obama’s job performance. Overall, 43.2 percent of respondents approve of his performance. Among those who approve, 26.4 percent say they “strongly approve,” and 16.8 percent “somewhat approve.” Of the 56.8 percent who disapprove, 46.8 percent “strongly disapprove.” The president’s approval ratings have remained fairly steady in NBP polls in the last few months, with 45.0 percent in the July NBP survey and 42.9 in the September NBP survey.
NBP surveyed a random selection of likely South Dakota voters from Oct. 1 through Oct. 5. The number of responses ranged from 762 for the presidential job approval question to 730 for the generic state Senate races question. The margins of error ranged from 3.55 for the presidential race question to 3.63 for the generic state Senate races question.
Nielson Brothers Polling will release more findings from this October survey, including questions on Initiated Measure 15 (proposing an extra percent of state sales tax) and Referred Laws 14 and 16.