Wednesday, June 4, 2014

Rounds Doesn't Close The Sale. Dems Commit Hara-Kiri with Wismer. Jensen Wins In District 33? Ugh.

     At first blush--and we Pubs have much to blush about with Mike Rounds as a candidate--it looks like  Rounds had an easy go of it in last night's primary.  He easily outdistanced his quixotic and underfinanced field of challengers, capturing something like 55% of the overall vote, pretty much as expected and predicted.  Money and name-recognition are a formidable combo and they served Rounds well in this first round of the election cycle.  He and his supporters have good reason to cheer, but I'm certain they've haven't uncorked the bubbly just yet.  Rounds the insurance broker by trade is probably the first to realize that the deal is far from closed.
   What is probably most troubling to the Rounds campaign is the plain arithmetic in the final tally.  Nearly half--45%--of South Dakota's Republicans preferred another candidate to be their champion in the race for the United States Senate.  This is not exactly the kind of unified show of support that a well-known and -financed candidate in a strongly Republican state should like to have going into a general election campaign.  Fact is, there are plenty of stirrings of discomfort and outright hostility toward Mike Rounds within SD's GOP.  Considering their animosity toward Rounds during the primary chase, I have little doubt that a whole wing of Republicans will jump the party's ship and support an Independent named Gordon Howie, whose ultra-conservative credentials are well-known in South Dakota and more suited to the "true" conservative believers who ran against Rounds in the primary.
     Given that the number of Rounds-haters amounted to nearly half the GOP's vote yesterday, this will pose a problem for Mike Rounds.  The Independent candidacy of former Republican U.S. Senator Larry Pressler, the run by Howie, and the natural 35%-40% of voters who will likely vote for Democrat Rick Weiland add up to some challenging numbers for Rounds come November.  I think the likeliest beneficiary will be Weiland, who has a serious chance of winning this thing with a plurality if enough GOP votes get siphoned away from Rounds and distributed to Pressler and Howie.
     On the Dem side, I'm chagrined that party insider Susan Wismer knocked off the dynamic Joe Lowe, whose background and style are much more suited to an executive suite than Wismer's tentative and wishy-washy persona.  Wismer went far on party support and name-recognition, particularly in the rural counties of the eastern part of the state, but Dems should ask themselves why Lowe carried Pennington and Minnehaha Counties, where urbanized voters were probably more keenly aware of the differences between the two candidates based on the natural tendency to be more exposed, aware and knowledgeable about the race, thanks to more intense media and personal exposure.  Dems might have had a chance with Lowe, but surrendered that possibility by nominating Wismer.
     As to the District 33 Senate race in Pennington County, Phil Jensen, the man who would overturn the Civil Rights Act of 1964 by allowing merchants to openly discriminate against anybody of their choosing, pulled it out in a squeaker.  The narrowness of that victory suggests that there is still hope for rationalism making a comeback in that district.

11 comments:

  1. I believe that the citizens of District 33 will work diligently against Phil Jensen's hatred, racism and discriminatory rhetoric! This is a deeply personal matter for the multi-racial community in North Rapid. I am encouraged by the comments this morning from many people who have vowed to mobilize and stand strong for equality and justice for all! Robin Page, Democratic Candidate for SD Senate - District 33.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You've got a friend at The Constant Commoner, Robin.

      Delete
    2. Thank you John! I try to read your blog on a regular basis. I appreciate your insight! You might like to read some of my postings on facebook. I will be addressing a lot of issues in this race. Thanks again! Robin Page

      Delete
  2. A warm congratulations to my Lakota niece. Way proud of you. Jensen has got to go. period

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks Roger! - Send me a facebook friend request! I appreciate your support!! Robin

      Delete
  3. John Lynn from Madville here.

    I resisted posting about this subject for a while. When Joe lost the primary my heart sank. It really surprised me and I felt with him being a very dynamic candidate he had the best chance against the current governor which will be a very formidable opponent.

    During the SDPB Dem forum both candidates were nervous on camera. Susan started off with not the best presentation but I was impressed with once she got warmed up and talking about subjects she had experience and passion about she improved quite a bit. It will be absolutely essential that she works on her delivery and weaknesses that have been pointed out here and in the blogging community. Otherwise it will be a long and painful experience with Dennis Daugaard winning re-election.

    Powertec Mining is an excellent example. She is a very bright woman and has much to offer with the inner workings of government but she needs to be clear, concise and aggressive on issues and campaign hard with volunteers running an incredible ground game and fundraising.

    ReplyDelete
  4. John, I hesitate to ask this. What do you think it says about republicans in general and in district 33 in particular, that they selected Jensen again as their rep even after the stuff he comes up with? Has your party really gone that far out into right field in SD?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I don't think Jensen and the self-proclaimed "wingnuts" in Pennington County represent the broader spectrum of Republicans, either in SD or nationally, though they certainly can be the most vocal and visible element of the GOP. Note that in the primary, the "wingnut" candidates were crushed in their efforts at gaining Pennington County-wide offices despite the approving robo-calling support they got from RC Mayor Sam Kooiker. And btw, you don't have to hesitate about asking me anything. I don't bite, lol. Thanks for the Q.

      Delete
  5. John, I find you to be the most level-headed republican I have ever read, and as an ex-republican I agree with almost everything you write. Unfortunately, as the radical wing of the republican party continues to pull the party further and further to the right, I just can't get my head wrapped around their policy anymore. People like you and myself used to be the republican party, sadly, not anymore.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Tim,
      You might be interested in the Mitchel's Daily Republic editorial reprinted in the RCJ today. As John pointed out, the tea party suffered a crushing defeat across South Dakota and rightly so.

      Delete
    2. RC, I haven't been spending as much time in the RCJ lately, I'll have a look. Thanks

      Delete