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South Dakota Abortion Policy Update

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One week after the South Dakota House of Representatives easily passed a bill banning most abortions in the state, a similar abortion ban bill died in committee in the state Senate.

The House recently passed a ban outlawing all abortions with certain exceptions for rape, incest, and health of the mother by a 45 - 25 vote. This week, however, the Senate's State Affairs Committee rejected the bill 8 to 1 preventing a floor vote for the moment. Both legislative chambers are controlled by the Republican Party: 50-20 in the House, 20-15 in the Senate.

The legislature's recent attempt to take up the abortion ban comes on the heels of a voter defeat of a referred law to ban all abortion, 56 to 44 percent in last November's election. While it appears both chambers would have the votes to pass the legislation in 2007, the sentiment among some legislators, especially in the Senate, is that it is too soon to take up such a measure. South Dakota drew national attention for its 2006 referred law that certainly would have been challenged up to the United States Supreme Court. Many anti-abortion officeholders and activists now believe they are one vote shy on the Court to get such a law upheld as constitutional.

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Remains of the Data

Gender Equality in the US House: A State-by State Quarter-Century Report Card (1989-2014)

A study of 5,325 congressional elections finds the number of female U.S. Representatives has more than tripled over the last 25 years, but the rate at which women are elected to the chamber still varies greatly between the states.

Political Crumbs

Final Four Has Presidential Approval

By edging Michigan in the final seconds Sunday, the University of Kentucky guaranteed that one school in the Final Four this year would be located in a state that was not carried by President Barack Obama in 2012. (Connecticut, Florida, and Wisconsin had previously earned Final Four slots over the weekend). Across the 76 Final Fours since 1939, an average of 3.1 schools have been located in states won by the president's ticket during the previous election cycle. All four schools have come from states won by the president 29 times, with the most recent being the 2009 Final Four featuring Connecticut, Michigan State, North Carolina, and Villanova. On 30 occasions three Final Four schools have been located in states won by the president, with two schools 11 times and only one school six times (the most recent being 2012 with Kansas, Kentucky, Louisville, and Ohio State). There has never been a Men's NCAA Division I Final Four in which no schools were located in states carried by the president's ticket.


Three for the Road

A new Rasmussen Poll shows Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker in a dead heat with likely 2014 Democratic nominee Mary Burke. Walker is seeking to win his third consecutive election after prevailing in 2012's recall contest. Eight of his predecessors accomplished this feat: Republicans Lucius Fairchild (in 1869), Jeremiah Rusk (1886), Robert La Follette (1904), Emanuel Philipp (1918), John Blaine (1924), Walter Kohler (1954), Warren Knowles (1968), and Tommy Thompson (1994). Three others Badger State governors lost on their third campaign: Democrat George Peck (1894), Progressive Philip La Follette (1938), and Republican Julius Heil (1942). One died in office before having the opportunity to win a third contest (GOPer Walter Goodland in 1947) while another resigned beforehand (Democrat Patrick Lucey in 1977 to become Ambassador to Mexico). Overall Wisconsin gubernatorial incumbents have won 35 of 47 general election contests, or 74.5 percent of the time.


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