Daugaard's lead over Wismer grows

It appears there's unlikely to be a change in who will be living in South Dakota's governor's mansion - but it looks like a change is coming when it comes to the state's minimum wage.

According to the latest results from the Survey South Dakota poll, Republican incumbent Dennis Daugaard leads Democratic challenger Susan Wismer by a nearly two to one margin. Among likely voters, 59 percent of those polled would vote for Daugaard, while 30 percent would vote for Wismer.

Daugaard's lead appears to be growing. In the last Survey South Dakota poll in early September, Daugaard lead 54 percent to 34 percent.

Independent Michael Mayers took home seven percent of the vote of those polled, while five percent were undecided.

Despite the deficit, KSFY political analyst Vernon Brown says the first woman to run for a major party in this election has run a good campaign.

"She made a smart choice in Suzy Blake as a Lt. Governor," Brown said. "People on both sides of the aisle speak highly of her, respect her thought process."

Meantime, the latest Survey South Dakota results show continued strong support for Initated Measure 18, which would increase minimum wage in South Dakota from $7.25 to $8.50. 61 percent of those polled said they would vote for the measure, while 22 percent were against it, with 17 percent undecided. The three-to-one favorable margin is nearly identical to the results from last month's survey.

42 percent of likely voters looked favorably on Initated Measure 17, which would require health insurers to include all health care providers on their provider lists. Eight percent are against the measure - meaning a full half of likely voters are still undecided on this issue.

Gambling expansion in Deadwood also looks likely to pass. 49 percent of likely voters were in favor of Constitutional Measure Q, which would allow roulette, keno, and craps in Deadwood. 23 percent were opposed, while 27 percent were undecided.

The poll, conducted by SurveyUSA, was sponsored by KSFY News, KOTA-TV in Rapid City, and the Aberdeen American News. More than 600 likely voters took part in the survey. The poll was conducted between October 1-5, and has a 4 point margin of error.