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Smart Politics Projections: Federal Races in South Dakota

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Through November 3rd, Smart Politics will be running a series of electoral projections for Upper Midwestern federal and state governmental contests. The second projections in the series are federal races in the State of South Dakota.

South Dakota: President.
Democrats have carried South Dakota just three times (in 1932, 1936, 1964) plus 1896 when William Jennings Bryan ran on the Populist ticket. Unlike its sister state to the north, South Dakota is not a toss up state, even with two strong Democratic statewide candidates on the ballot in 2008. Smart Politics Projection: Republican Hold (from 2004).

South Dakota: U.S. Senate.
Senator Tim Johnson is one of the nation’s most popular Senators, with Mount Rushmore State residents consistently giving him favorability ratings in 60s. That will translate into Johnson’s first double-digit victory since his five consecutive double-digit victories as South Dakota’s At-large Representative from 1986-1994. Smart Politics Projection: Democratic Hold.

South Dakota: U.S. House-At large.
Stephanie Herseth Sandlin is one of three Blue Dog Democrats in the Upper Midwest who will coast to double-digit victories in 2008, winning the At-large seat for the Democrats for the 11th time out of 15 elections since 1982. Smart Politics Projection: Democratic Hold.

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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

Small Club in St. Paul

Mark Dayton is one of just three Minnesotans ever elected to three different statewide offices. Dayton, of course, had previously served as State Auditor (1991-1995) and U.S. Senator (2001-2007) before winning the governorship in 2010. At that time, he joined Republicans Edward Thye and J.A.A. Burnquist on this very short list. Burnquist was elected governor in 1914 but then became governor after the death of Democrat Winfield Hammond in 1915. He then won the gubernatorial elections of 1916 and 1918 and eight terms as attorney general two decades later (1939-1955). Thye was similarly first elected lieutenant governor of the Gopher State and became governor after the resignation of fellow GOPer Harold Stasson in 1943. Thye won one additional full term as governor in 1944 and then two terms to the U.S. Senate (1947-1959). Twenty Minnesotans have been elected to two different statewide offices.


Respect Your Elders?

With retirement announcements this year by veteran U.S. Representatives such as 30-term Democrat John Dingell of Michigan, 20-term Democrat George Miller of California, and 18-term Republican Tom Petri of Wisconsin, it is no surprise that retirees from the 113th Congress are one of the most experienced cohorts in recent decades. Overall, these 24 exiting members of the House have served an average of 11.0 terms - the second longest tenure among retirees across the last 18 cycles since 1980. Only the U.S. Representatives retiring in 2006 had more experience, averaging 11.9 terms. (In that cycle, 10 of the 11 retiring members served at least 10 terms, with GOPer Bill Jenkins of Tennessee the lone exception at just five). Even without the aforementioned Dingell, the average length of service in the chamber of the remaining 23 retirees in 2014 is 10.2 terms - which would still be the third highest since 1980 behind the 2006 and 2012 (10.5 terms) cycles.


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