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Parties split on whether Gov. Kristi Noem was justified in shooting dog, poll finds

Polling also found that 29% of South Dakotans surveyed think she should be the vice presidential nominee, while 58% say she should not.
Kristi Noem
Posted at 12:06 PM, May 21, 2024

Weeks after South Dakota Gov. Kristi Noem revealed in her new book that she killed her unruly pet dog, a majority of South Dakota registered voters said the killing was unjustified.

According to a poll taken by South Dakota News Watch, a nonprofit news organization, 58% of registered voters said the killing was unjustified, while 38% said it was justified. 

Opinions about the killing were divided largely along party lines. Just 1 in 10 Democrats said the dog's death was justified. Meanwhile, almost 6 in 10 Republicans polled said it was justified. Nearly 9 in 10 Democrats said the killings were unjustified, while just over 2 in 10 Republicans thought Noem was unjustified in killing her dog. 

"The fact is, South Dakota law states that dogs who attack and kill livestock can be put down," Noem said in a statement in late April. "Given that Cricket had shown aggressive behavior toward people by biting them, I decided what I did. Whether running the ranch or in politics, I have never passed on my responsibilities to anyone else to handle. Even if it’s hard and painful. I followed the law and was being a responsible parent, dog owner, and neighbor."

South Dakota Republican Gov. Kristi Noem.

Political Scandals

Kristi Noem defends story in new book about killing her pet dog

Scripps News Staff
1:38 PM, Apr 29, 2024

The polling did indicate a small drop in support for the governor once considered one of the leading candidates to be presumptive Republican nominee Donald Trump's running mate. Fifty-two percent of voters surveyed approve of her performance as governor. An April poll by Morning Consult had her approval rating at 59%. 

As for whether she should be Trump's running mate, 29% of South Dakotans surveyed think she should be the vice presidential nominee, while 58% say she should not. Polling showed majorities of Republicans, Democrats and independents oppose her being Trump's running mate.