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Latest Poll Numbers Show Tight Race for SD Congressional Seat, PUC

Kristi Noem
(Photo by Alex Wong/Getty Images)

It looks like the latest Nielson Brothers Polling (NBP) survey is showing that the undecided voters are starting to jump off the fence.  For those not familiar, NBP is an organizaton who conducts surveys for public elections along with doing fact-finding work for private entities as well.  The brothers grew up in Mitchell and have been cited by numerous sources in the past and are deemed good at what they do.

In fact, if you have received a call asking for your status on how you are going to vote recently there is a better than even chance it came from NBP.  This latest survey conducted in early October is on the heels of a similar effort around Labor Day.  Although the major South Dakota races for office are still led by Republicans, gains have been made by Democrats along with a Libertarian presence that has made one PUC race very interesting.

Let’s start with the Presidential race and to no one’s suprise, Mitt Romney has a healthy lead over President Obama.  However, the gap has closed slightly since the Labor Day poll.

NBP says that the Public Utilities Commission race between Chris Nelson (R) and Nick Nemec (D) is a 26 point spread.  Not a suprise here either because first, Nelson has a huge name recognition advantage as a former Secretary of State and he ran in the primary against Ms. Noem two years ago.  Second, Nelson has quite a bit more infrastructure in place to get his name out there such as an official website.  Nemec is using a facebook account to circulate his positions.  There is no apparent fallout from the fact that Nelson was appointed to the post by the sitting Governor.

The other PUC race is a three-way fight and strangely, the first poll did not involve the Libertarian candidate.  When you add that aspect into the mix, oh how the numbers change.  The first poll with two candidates had incumbent Kristie Fiegen (R) leading by over 10 points over Matt McGovern (D).  Now that you include the 8.5 point support for Libertarian Russell Clarke, Fiegen leads in the new poll by just 2 points with 16.2 percent undecided.  Even without the margin of error, that’s a tossup.

Kristi Noem is ahead for the Congressional seat, but nowhere near comfortably.  It also appears that more people have made up their minds with only 7 percent undecided. The Republican incumbent leads Matt Varilek 49.3 to 43.6 and the Democrat has gained just over a point in the last month.

Election day is coming and the time is almost at hand to cast your vote on election day.  Shoot, you could even get it out of the way now if you want the absentee route, but why miss out on all the fun?

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