Kristi Noem has been not-so-subtly positioning herself as Donald Trump‘s potential 2024 running mate for some time now, gushing about him in interviews and parroting his talking points in speeches.
Just last month, she endorsed his 2024 bid, saying he’s “the leader [and] the fighter our country needs.”
But all that orange ass-kissing might have been for naught.
Because the God-fearing, gay-hating governor’s chances of being Trump’s #2 just took a major hit after a new poll found not only is her popularity in her home state waning, but so are people’s feelings about her as a potential VP.
The Emerson College poll was conducted earlier this month and spoke to 432 voters in South Dakota.
Pollsters learned that people aren’t so happy with how Noem’s been running things since winning reelection just last year, with less than half of respondents saying they approve of her.
The poll found just 43% approve of Noem, while 36.5% disapprove. The poll’s margin of error is plus or minus 4.7 points. That means, if the 4.7 point error is in Noem’s favor, it would still place her approval rating below 50%, at around 48%. Meanwhile, if the error is not in her favor, it would drop her approval rating even lower, to about 38%.
While 48% is certainly better than 38%, neither of those numbers bode well for her chances of winning the veepstakes.
But it gets worse.
When asked if Trump should pick Noem or someone else, should he win the party’s nomination for president in 2024, just 25% of South Dakotans said he should definitely go with her. Meanwhile, 38% said he should pick someone else, and 20% said it depends on who else he might be considering.
Among just Republican voters, those numbers weren’t much better. Only 34% said Noem should be Trump’s running mate, while 32% said they think it should be someone else, and 18% say it depends on who else is being considered.
To make matters worse, just two weeks before the Emerson College poll was conducted, the Daily Mail and New York Post both ran stories detailing the Noem’s alleged years-long extramarital affair with longtime Trump advisor Corey Lewandowski.
Gotta love those MAGA family values!
According to sources, the fling has been known “for years” and the pair have been spotted at Mar-a-Lago “playing grab-ass” and doing “the usual stuff that drunk people who are having affairs do.”
Whether or not the rumors are true (Noem has denied them), the fact that the story is circulating during the peak of primary campaign season is also a major mark against the governor. Republican voters might forgive Trump for cheating on every wife he’s ever had, but they’re not going to let a woman get away with doing the same.
After all, they have to draw the line somewhere.