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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

Plurality-Winning Governors Elected At Century-Long High Water Mark

The rate of gubernatorial candidates elected without the support of a majority of voters is at its highest level since the 1910s.

Political Crumbs

Seeing Red

Congressman Nick Rahall's failed bid for a 20th term in West Virginia this cycle, combined with a narrow loss by Nick Casey to Alex Mooney in Shelley Moore Capito's open seat, means that West Virginia Democrats will be shut out of the state's U.S. House delegation for the first time in over 90 years. The Republican sweep by two-term incumbent David McKinley in the 1st CD, Mooney in the 2nd, and Evan Jenkins over Rahall in the 3rd marks the first time the GOP has held all seats in the chamber from West Virginia since the Election of 1920. During the 67th Congress (1921-1923) all six seats from the state were controlled by the GOP. Since the Election of 1922, Democrats have won 76 percent of all U.S. House elections in the Mountain State - capturing 172 seats compared to 54 for the GOP.


Home Field Advantage?

When the 114th Congress convenes in a few days, Maine will be represented by one home-grown U.S. Representative: Waterville-born Republican Bruce Poliquin. With the departure of Millinocket-born Mike Michaud, who launched a failed gubernatorial bid, the Pine Tree State was poised to send a House delegation to D.C. without any Maine-born members for the first time since 1821. Three-term U.S. Rep. Chellie Pingree (born in Minnesota) coasted to reelection as expected, however Poliquin edged Kentucky-born Emily Cain by 5.3 points to keep the streak alive. Since 1876, a total of 208 of the 222 candidates elected to the nation's lower legislative chamber from the state have been born in Maine, or 94 percent.


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