Go to HHH home page.
Smart Politics
 


Election Profile: South Dakota U.S. Senate

Bookmark and Share

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 second profile in the series is South Dakota's U.S. Senate race.

Candidates:
Democrat: Tim Johnson (2-term incumbent)
Republican: Joel Dykstra

History:
Tim Johnson looks to win his third term as Senator from South Dakota. Johnson ousted 3-term Republican Senator Larry Pressler in 1996 with a 2.6-point victory. Johnson won re-election in 2002 by 532 votes over soon to be Senator John Thune, thanks in part to the Libertarian candidacy of Kurt Evans (who netted more than 3,000 votes).

Johnson serves on the powerful Senate Appropriations Committee as well as the Banking, Housing, and Urban Affair Committee, Energy and Natural Resources Committee, and Indian Affairs Committee.

Dykstra, a state legislator since 2002, is currently the Assistant House Majority Leader in South Dakota.

Democrats have won 5 of the past 7 U.S. Senate races in South Dakota since 1986, and 9 out of the last 15 races since 1962. Overall, however, Democrats have only won 12 of 32 U.S. Senate races since popular vote elections began in 1914.

Outlook:
South Dakota was at one point on the GOP's very short list of possible pick-ups in 2008. Senator Johnson experienced an arteriovenous malformation in December 2006, but decided to continue his political career with an official announcement back in October 2007. Senator Johnson is one of the nation’s most popular Senators, with Mount Rushmore State residents consistently giving him favorability ratings in the high 60s. His seat is safe.

Previous post: Election Profile: South Dakota U.S. House (At-large) (2008)
Next post: Election Profile: Iowa's 1st Congressional District (2008)

Leave a comment


Remains of the Data

Kevin McCarthy Becomes Least Tenured Floor Leader in US House History

At less than four terms, McCarthy has served 423 fewer days in the chamber than any floor leader in U.S. House history and almost 10 years less than the average leader.

Political Crumbs

The Second Time Around

Former Republican Congressman Bob Beauprez became the seventh major party or second place gubernatorial candidate in Colorado to get a second chance at the office when he narrowly won his party's nomination last month. Two of the previous six candidates were successful. Democrat Alva Adams lost his first gubernatorial bid to Benjamin Eaton in 1884, but was victorious two years later against William Meyer. Democrat Charles Johnson placed third in 1894 behind Republican Albert McIntyre and Populist incumbent Governor David Waite but returned as the Fusion (Democrat/Populist) nominee in 1898 and defeated GOPer Henry Wolcott. Gubernatorial candidates who received a second chance but lost both general elections include Democrat Thomas Patterson (1888, 1914), Progressive Edward Costigan (1912, 1914), Republican Donald Brotzman (1954, 1956), and Republican David Strickland (1978, 1986).


How Are the Plurality Winners Doing?

Nearly 40 percent of plurality winners of U.S. Senate elections lose their seat in the next election cycle. Will that happen to any of the three such incumbents on the ballot in 2014? Recent polling suggests Democrats Al Franken of Minnesota, Mark Begich of Alaska, and Jeff Merkley of Oregon all currently have an advantage over their nominated/frontrunning GOP opponents, but each is flirting with plurality support once again. Franken led endorsed GOPer Mike McFadden 48 to 42 percent in a new SurveyUSA poll while the polling group showed Merkley with a 50 to 32 percent advantage over Monica Wehby. Begich led each of the three major GOP candidates in last month's PPP survey: 42 to 37 percent over Daniel Sullivan, 41 to 33 percent over Mead Treadwell, and 43 to 27 percent over Joe Miller.


more POLITICAL CRUMBS

Humphrey School Sites
CSPG
Humphrey New Media Hub

Issues />

<div id=
Abortion
Afghanistan
Budget and taxes
Campaign finances
Crime and punishment
Economy and jobs
Education
Energy
Environment
Foreign affairs
Gender
Health
Housing
Ideology
Immigration
Iraq
Media
Military
Partisanship
Race and ethnicity
Reapportionment
Redistricting
Religion
Sexuality
Sports
Terrorism
Third parties
Transportation
Voting