SIOUX FALLS – Incumbents Gov. Dennis Daugaard and U.S. Rep. Kristi Noem are maintaining health leads over their opponents, according to a new Northern Plains News/Nielson Brothers Polling tracking poll released today (Monday).

Also, Initiated Measure 18, an increase in the state minimum wage from $7.25 per hour to $8.50 with a yearly cost of living increase is maintaining its earlier lead but support has slipped a few points.

This past election cycle, NBP has been tracking public opinion of likely voters across South Dakota since Nov. 17, 2013 and will do so into November of this year. The full tracking numbers will be released soon. The numbers show little movement in the statewide races for South Dakota Governor and US Representative. Republicans continue to lead in all statewide races polled.

Among Democrats, Corinna Robinson is receiving most support. Support for Initiated Measure 18, which raises the minimum wage, continues to hover just over 50 percent. However, opposition to IM18 has gradually risen, now reaching 37 percent, with 13 percent undecided.

Somewhat surprising, President Barack Obama’s job approval rating numbers improved slightly since the previous polls conducted in July and September, as Democratic support in particular rises in this October survey. Those thinking the state is headed in the “right direction” also dropped a few points.

NPN and NBP plan to release polling results on the U.S. Senate race, the Constitutional Amendment Q, and Initiated Measure 17 on doctor choice later this week.

NBP is using a tracking poll for its methodology on these sets of numbers. NBP polls a different set of respondents each day and those results are averaged on a rolling four day basis.

Some terminology: “n” means the number of people polled; “moe” means the poll’s margin of error.

The results of the NPN/NBP tracking poll to date.

South Dakota Governor
For South Dakota Governor would you vote for Republican Dennis Daugaard, Democrat Susan Wismer, or Independent Mike Myers?
n=673 n=607 n=572
moe=3.78* moe=3.98 moe=4.07
10/23-26** 9/21-25 7/23-28
Daugaard (R): 62.3*** 53.4 52.9
Wismer (D): 26.0 27.5 28.5
Myers (I): 5.9 10.3 6.8
Undecided: 5.8 8.8 11.8

US House
For US House would you vote for Democrat Corinna Robinson, or Republican Kristi Noem?
n=676 n=615 n=574
moe=3.77 moe=3.95 moe=4.05
10/23-26 9/21-25 7/23-28
Kristi Noem (R): 56.2 54.6 54
Corinna Robinson (D): 34.7 36.6 36
Undecided: 9.1 8.8 10

US Senate
Later release.

South Dakota Treasurer
For South Dakota Treasurer would you vote for Republican Rich Sattgast Libertarian Ken Santema or for Democrat Denny Pierson?
n=661
moe=3.81
10/23-26
Rich Sattgast (R): 45.7
Denny Pierson (D): 27.9
Ken Santema (L): 7.0
Undecided 19.5

Generic State Senate Race
n=653 n=605 n=528
moe=3.83 moe=3.98 moe=4.26
10/23-26 9/21-25 7/23-28
Republican 49.7 48.6 41.9
Democratic 33.5 32.1 36.7
Undecided 16.3 19.3 21.4
Will not vote 0.5 - -

Initiated Measure 17
Later release.

Initiated Measure 18
Initiated Measure 18 makes three changes to the minimum wage:
First, it raises the minimum wage from $7.25 to $8.50 per hour. Second, it raises the tip wage from $2.13 to 4.25 per hour. Third, the minimum wage and tip wage would rise with the cost of living. If you voted today would you vote for or against this initiative?
n=612 n= n=
moe=3.96 moe= moe=
10/23-26 9/21-25 7/23-28
Vote for 50.3 53.3 52
Vote against 36.5 31.9 28
Unsure 13.2 14.9 20

South Dakota Direction
Is South Dakota headed in the right or wrong direction?
n=728 n=690 n=615
moe=3.63 moe=3.73 moe=3.92
10/23-26 9/21-25 7/23-28
Right direction 45.6 46.7 49.8
Wrong direction 31.5 29.1 28.1
Undecided 22.9 24.2 22.1

President Barack Obama Job Approval
How do you rate the job done by President Barack Obama?
n=728 n=690 n=615
moe=3.63 moe=3.73 moe=3.95
10/23-26 9/21-25 7/23-28
Strongly approve 21.1 17.2 18.9
Somewhat approve 20.5 16.7 17.8
Somewhat disappr. 8.9 14.9 13.6
Strongly disapprove 49.5 51.2 49.7

*In percentages.
**Results based on the most recent four day weighted results of South Dakota likely voters, from the NBP tracking survey that begin Oct. 17, 2014.
***In percentages.