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South Dakota US Senate Historical Snapshot

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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 is extremely popular in his home state, but, given South Dakota's heavy Republican leanings, it is one of the few opportunities the GOP has to invest its resources in stealing a seat.

South Dakota has voted overwhelming for Republicans for major office:

* Republicans have won 25 of 29 presidential elections since 1892 (86 percent).
* Republicans have won 42 of 52 gubernatorial elections since statehood in 1889 (81 percent).
* Republicans have 93 of 118 U.S. House seats since 1889 (79 percent).

Republicans have also won the majority of U.S. Senate seats since popular elections for the office began in 1914, although by a less impressive margin, winning 20 seats to 12 for the Democrats, or 63 percent. Democrats have also won 9 of the 15 seats dating back to 1962.

Overall, Republicans have garnered 4.33 million of the 8.26 million votes cast for U.S. Senate in South Dakota since 1914 (53 percent). Democrats have won 3.75 million votes (45 percent) while 172,490 votes have gone to third parties (2 percent).

A third party candidate for U.S. Senate has not received 5 percent of the vote since 1926, when Howard Platt of the Farmer-Labor party earned 7.1 percent. The strongest showing for a third party candidate was in 1920 when non-partisan Tom Ayres came in second place with 24.1 percent of the vote.

Republicans have also enjoyed a much larger average margin of victory in South Dakota U.S. Senate elections—18.4 points, compared to just 9 points for Democratic victors.

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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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