Majority of Men Approve of Noem, Plurality of Women Disapprove of the Governor

A new Emerson College Polling survey in South Dakota finds Governor Kristi Noem with a 43% job approval among residents, while 37% disapprove of the job she is doing in office. President Biden holds a 22% approval rating in South Dakota, and 62% disapproval rating. 

“Within Noem’s party, she holds a 73% approval rating; however, among independent voters, a 48% plurality disapprove of the job Noem is doing,” Spencer Kimball, Executive Director of Emerson College Polling said. “Noem’s approval is lowest among voters under 30, at 30%, and highest among those between 50-69, at 53%.”

Kimball added, “There is a significant gender divide on Noem’s approval: her approval among male residents is 17 points higher than among women, with a 52% approval rating among male voters compared to 35% among women. Noem’s disapproval is consequently ten points higher among women than men, 41% to 31%.”

In a hypothetical 2024 Presidential matchup between President Joe Biden and former President Donald Trump, Trump leads 50% to 28%. Fourteen percent support someone else and 8% are undecided. 

Residents were asked if Donald Trump is the nominee, if he should choose Kristi Noem as his running mate, or if he should choose someone else. A quarter of residents (25%) think he should choose Noem, while 38% think he should choose someone else and 20% say it depends on who is considered. Among just Republican voters, 34% think Noem should be the 2024 running mate of a hypothetical Trump nomination, while 32% think it should be someone else, and 18% say it depends on who is considered. 

Thinking of the 2020 election, residents were asked which comes closest to their view of the way Joe Biden won the election, if he won fair and square or if he stole the election. Respondents are split: 42% think he stole the election while 40% think he won fair and square. When asked the same question about Donald Trump’s win in 2016, 61% think Trump won fair and square, while 18% think he stole the election. 

Midwest Study: The South Dakota general election survey is part of a 22-state study on the Midwest region and surrounding states. Additional states will be released over the week, along with the study results by the Middle West Review that is researching perceptions of the Midwest region.


The Emerson College Polling South Dakota poll was conducted October 1-4, 2023. The sample consisted of n=432 South Dakota voters with a credibility interval, similar to a poll’s margin of error of +/- 4.7 percentage points; the sample of South Dakota residents is n=477 with a credibility interval of 4.4 percentage points. The data sets were weighted by gender, age, race, party, and education based on the general population using a sample of n=477 participants and allowing the natural fallout to create the sample of n=432 voters. Turnout modeling is based on US Census parameters, and South Dakota voter turnout data by regions (SD SOS). Data was collected by contacting a list of landlines via Interactive Voice Response (IVR) and emails provided by Aristotle, along with an online panel of voters provided by Alchemer. 

It is important to remember that subsets based on demographics, such as gender, age, education, and race/ethnicity, carry with them higher credibility intervals, as the sample size is reduced. Survey results should be understood within the poll’s range of scores, and know with a confidence interval of 95% a poll will fall outside the range of scores 1 in 20 times.

This survey was conducted by Emerson College Polling, and questions included in this release are all sponsored by Emerson College. All questions asked in this survey with exact wording, along with full results and cross tabulations can be found here.