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South Dakota


Election Profile: South Dakota U.S. House (At-large) (2008)

Smart Politics is running a series of election profiles of all the Upper Midwestern U.S. Senate and U.S. House races leading up to the November 4th elections. The series will culminate with Smart Politics' official projections. The first in the series is South Dakota's at-large U.S. House race. Candidates: Democrat:...

McCain Makes Big Gains in South Dakota

Continuing the bounce polls indicate he is experiencing in most states West of the Mississippi, John McCain now holds a 17-point advantage in South Dakota, 54 to 37 percent, according to a September 9th Rasmussen poll of 500 likely voters. Back in July, a Rasmussen survey had McCain up by...

What Is the Democratic Ceiling Across Upper Midwestern State Legislatures?

The 2006 election saw Democratic takeovers of 3 of the 6 Upper Midwestern legislative chambers previously controlled by the Republicans. Democrats now control 5 chambers (the Iowa House and Senate, the Minnesota House and Senate, and the Wisconsin Senate) with the Republicans controlling 3 (the South Dakota House and Senate...

18 is Enough: South Dakota Democratic Senators and the Third Term Curse

South Dakota Democratic U.S. Senator Tim Johnson was once thought to be one of the few potential targets for a GOP pick-up in the 2008 election. Johnson had won his first two elections to the Senate by a total of 9,111 votes, including a 532-vote squeaker in 2002 against current...

Rasmussen Poll: Obama Up Big in MN, IA, Competitive in the Dakotas

Barack Obama is looking to become the first Democratic candidate to sweep the Upper Midwest since Lyndon B. Johnson in 1964. New polling by Rasmussen indicates Obama is currently competitive enough in the Dakotas to have a chance at doing just that. In South Dakota, a survey of 500 likely...

Democrats in Best Position to Take Control of SD Senate Since 1992

While Democrats have been able to win statewide elections in South Dakota in recent years (Tim Johnson, Tom Daschle, Stephanie Herseth), Republicans have thoroughly dominated district races for the state legislature. Since 1960, Democrats have only eked out a tie in the House (1972) and have controlled the Senate after...

Live Blog: South Dakota Primary

8:00 p.m. CNN, MSNBC, and Fox News have all called Barack Obama the presumptive nominee of the Democratic Party, having culled together enough superdelegates today and enough votes (> 30 percent) in South Dakota. 8:06 p.m. (9% reporting) Clinton = 56% Obama = 44% 8:12 p.m. Fox News has called...

South Dakota and Montana Preview; ARG Finds Clinton Up 26 Points in SD

Even as Hillary Clinton racked up victories in Pennsylvania, Indiana, West Virginia, Kentucky, and Puerto Rico, political analysts (echoed by cable news anchors) forecasted the final presidential primary contests on June 3rd (South Dakota and Montana) as "Obama states." This hasty analysis by political commentators and anchors was driven by...

SD's Tim Johnson Coasting in Early U.S. Senate Poll

In recent years, when Republicans have looked for a competitive race in which to pick up a U.S. Senate seat, their eyes frequently turned to South Dakota. South Dakota is a reliable state for the GOP in its state legislature as well as vote for president: in the 29 presidential...

Political Influence of Upper Midwest In Decline?

Iowa's influence on presidential politics is in the spotlight right now, with its caucuses now just 37 days away, on January 3, 2008. The winner of each party's caucus is by no means guaranteed to go on and win the nomination, but a surprise showing can go a long way...

South Dakota US Senate Historical Snapshot

Now that Mississippi Republican Trent Lott has announced his retirement, 35 U.S. Senate seats will be on the ballot next November—23 held by the GOP and just 12 by Democrats. One of the few seats targeted by the Republicans is that held by Democrat Tim Johnson of South Dakota. Johnson...

Smart Politics Live Blog At Abortion Policy Event

7:00 p.m. Sarah Stoesz, President and CEO of Planned Parenthood Minnesota, North Dakota, South Dakota is the featured speaker at tonight's event. The launching pad for tonight's discussion of abortion policy is South Dakota's 2006 restrictions on abortion, passed by the GOP-dominated state legislature and supported by Republican Governor Mike...

Smart Politics Live Blogging At Abortion Policy Event

Smart Politics will be blogging live tonight at a program on abortion policy held from 7:00 to 8:30 p.m. in Cowles Auditorium at the Humphrey Institute of Public Affairs. From the Humphrey press release: "The South Dakota legislature and governor enacted in 2006 the nation's strictest restrictions on the right...

Senator Johnson to Run for 3rd Term In South Dakota

On Friday South Dakota senior Senator Tim Johnson confirmed what had been suspected for months: the 2-term Democratic incumbent will run for a 3rd term in 2008. Senator Johnson is extremely popular in his home state, and perhaps has gained greater favor among the electorate after his near fatal brain...

Sen. Johnson Makes First Public Appearance in SD Since Illness

On Tuesday evening Sioux Falls hosted a "Welcome Back" celebration marking Democratic Senator Tim Johnson's birthday and return to South Dakota for the first time since nearly losing his life last December. The Senator spoke for a little more than 10 minutes and declared, "I am back," to a...

SD 2008 Election Forecast: Will Momentum Towards the Democrats Continue?

South Dakota, one of the most reliably Republican states in the Midwest, will be an interesting state to watch in 2008. First, the state will have a high-profile Senate race, whether or not the state's senior Senator, Democrat Tim Johnson, decides to run for a third term. Johnson is...

Senator Tim Johnson: Update

South Dakota senior Senator Tim Johnson remains in an in-patient rehabilitation center in Washington, D.C. as he continues his recovery from the arteriovenous malformation that struck him late last year. Before falling ill, Johnson was already considered one of the few vulnerable Democratic Senators up for reelection in 2008,...

Gun Ownership Upper Midwestern Snapshot

The mass murders at Virginia Tech University this week have inspired those in gun control circles to renew their pressure on politicians to reexamine our nation's gun laws; it has also caused 2nd Amendment strict constructionists to dig in deeper to fight against such changes. In their coverage of the...

South Dakota Passes Qualified Minimum Wage Increase

This week South Dakota enacted legislation increasing the state hourly minimum wage—contingent upon an increase in the federal minimum wage law. South Dakota's current minimum wage is fixed at $5.15 per hour—identical to the federal law—and will not increase until July 1, 2007 or until a federal raise is...

Upper Midwestern States Contemplate Presidential Primary Dates

As Election 2008 heats up, states across the nation are strategically shuffling their primary and caucus schedules in attempt to become more relevant players in the presidential campaign. Upper Midwestern states are also contemplating changes to their schedules in view of the potential benefits moving up primary voting day would...

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Political Crumbs

Gubernatorial Highs and Lows

Two sitting governors currently hold the record for the highest gubernatorial vote ever received in their respective states by a non-incumbent: Republican Matt Mead of Wyoming (65.7 percent in 2010) and outgoing GOPer Dave Heineman of Nebraska (73.4 percent in 2006). Republican Gary Herbert of Utah had not previously won a gubernatorial contest when he notched a state record 64.1 percent for his first victory in 2010, but was an incumbent at the time after ascending to the position in 2009 after the early departure of Jon Huntsman. Meanwhile, two sitting governors hold the record in their states for the lowest mark ever recorded by a winning gubernatorial candidate (incumbent or otherwise): independent-turned-Democrat Lincoln Chafee of Rhode Island (36.1 percent in 2010) and Democrat Terry McAuliffe of Virginia (47.8 percent in 2013).


An Idaho Six Pack

Two-term Idaho Republican Governor Butch Otter only polled at 39 percent in a recent PPP survey of the state's 2014 race - just four points ahead of Democratic businessman A.J. Balukoff. Otter's low numbers reflect his own struggles as a candidate (witness his weak primary win against State Senator Russ Fulcher) combined with the opportunity for disgruntled Idahoans to cast their votes for one of four third party and independent candidates, who collectively received the support of 12 percent of likely voters: Libertarian John Bujak, the Constitution Party's Steve Pankey, and independents Jill Humble and Pro-Life (aka Marvin Richardson). The six candidate options in a gubernatorial race sets an all-time record in the Gem State across the 46 elections conducted since statehood. The previous high water mark of five candidates was reached in seven previous cycles: 1902, 1904, 1908, 1912, 1914, 1966, and 2010.


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