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Undecided Voters Still Hold Considerable Sway Over South Dakota Ballot Measures

Election Day November 6
(Photo by Scott Olson/Getty Images)

Two Referred Laws and one Initiated Measure will be decided in South Dakota on November 6.  The problem is many folks haven’t decided yet.  The folks at Nielson Brothers Polling (NBP) have issued their latest snapshot into what voters in the Rushmore State are thinking as crunch time looms.

To refresh your memory about what these issues are:  RL 14 if passed would take a portion of contractor’s excise tax money collected out of the general fund then put it in a special fund to let the South Dakota Governor’s Office Of Economic Development use it to incentivise businesses to build big projects in the state.  IM 15 will raise sales tax by one percent for the sole purpose of funding education and Medicaid.  RL 16 is the former HB 1234 that sets up incentive programs for teachers (especially for sceince and math) while eliminating tenure.

A whopping 47 percent (don’t tell Mitt Romney) of voters told NBP that they don’t know what to think of RL 14.  The nay vote has the upper hand currently, but it is a twelve point margin.  Plenty of changes possible for that issue.

More people are off the fence when it comes to IM 15.  Eighteen percent don’t know yet if raising the sales tax is good or bad.  However, an interesting trend is happening.  Support for raising the tax is still in the lead, but remarkably all of the people who made up their mind since Labor Day joined the opposition.  Undecided voter totals dropped by 6.6 points and the number of no voters rose by 6.1 percent.  The official support for the tax stands at 44 percent of respondents, 38 percent do not.  There is no way that trend of undecideds all flipping to the no side can hold true over the next three weeks, but we shall see how close that one gets.

Stuck in the middle is RL 16 where a third of people don’t know yet if the Governor’s Teacher Incentive Plan is worthy.  That one currently has the majority of support but by only 1.3 percent.  By the way the margin of error in all of these polls is a little over 4 percent.  The competition for RL 16 will be intense.


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