New Yahoo News/YouGov poll: 66% of Americans disapprove of Kristi Noem shooting and killing her dog

Former President Donald Trump thinks South Dakota Gov. Kristi Noem — the only person on his vice presidential shortlist to boast about shooting and killing her own dog — is a "terrific" leader who's simply had a "bad week."

The problem, according to a new Yahoo News/YouGov poll, is that the vast majority of Americans disagree.

The new survey of 1,794 U.S. adults, which was conducted from May 10 to 13, shows that a full two-thirds of them (66%) disapprove of Noem's decision to shoot her family's 14-month-old wirehaired pointer in a gravel pit after the dog ruined a pheasant hunt and killed a neighbor's chickens — a story Noem recounts in her forthcoming memoir, No Going Back: The Truth on What's Wrong with Politics and How We Move America Forward, as proof that she's willing to tackle even "difficult, messy and ugly" tasks.

“I hated that dog,” Noem writes, adding that the puppy was “untrainable” and “less than worthless.”

Just 14% of Americans approve of Noem’s decision, including a mere 26% of Republicans. Roughly twice as many Republicans (50%) disapprove.

"[Noem] did a great job as governor," Trump said in a conservative podcast interview that aired on Tuesday. "That's a tough story, but she's a terrific person."

It's unclear if Trump — who also recently described Noem as "somebody that I love" and of whom he's "been a supporter … for a long time" — is still considering the South Dakotan as a potential running mate.

But after reading a description of the dog incident, only 13% of Americans think it would be a good idea for Trump to put Noem on the 2024 GOP ticket; 48% say selecting her would be a bad idea. And even current Trump supporters agree (16% good idea, 44% bad idea).

"She's DOA," one Trump ally told The Hill. "Any time you have to respond more than once to a story, it's not good."

Even before reading a description of the dog incident, few voters who identify as Republicans or Republican-leaning independents — just 4% — selected Noem as the best of nine potential Trump VP choices. Only New York Rep. Elise Stefanik (3%) and North Dakota Gov. Doug Burgum (2%) scored lower.

South Carolina Sen. Tim Scott (13%) led the list, followed by Arkansas Gov. Sarah Huckabee Sanders, Florida Sen. Marco Rubio and former Housing and Urban Development Secretary Ben Carson (all at 9%). Arizona Senate candidate Kari Lake (5%) and Ohio Sen. J.D. Vance (4%) scored in the middle of the pack.

On a related note, more than half of Republicans and Republican-leaning voters say that it “makes no difference” if Trump selects a running mate who commits to accepting the 2024 results in advance of the election (40%) or that they want Trump to pick someone who “will not commit” to accepting the results (12%) — while just a third (34%) say they would prefer a GOP vice-presidential nominee who has committed to accepting the results.

The Washington Post recently reported that this "question has become something of a litmus test, particularly among the long list of possible running mates for Trump, whose relationship with his first vice president, Mike Pence, ruptured because Pence resisted Trump's pressure to overturn the 2020 election."

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The Yahoo News survey was conducted by YouGov using a nationally representative sample of 1,794 U.S. adults interviewed online from May 10 to 13, 2024. The sample was weighted according to gender, age, race, education, 2020 election turnout and presidential vote, baseline party identification and current voter registration status. Demographic weighting targets come from the 2019 American Community Survey. Baseline party identification is the respondent’s most recent answer given prior to Nov. 1, 2022, and is weighted to the estimated distribution at that time (33% Democratic, 27% Republican). Respondents were selected from YouGov’s opt-in panel to be representative of all U.S. adults. The margin of error is approximately 2.7%.

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