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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.

Previous post: Smart Politics Projections: Federal Races in Iowa
Next post: Smart Politics Projections: Federal Races in Wisconsin

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Political Crumbs

Strike Three for Miller-Meeks

Iowa Republicans had a banner day on November 4th, picking up both a U.S. Senate seat and one U.S. House seat, but Mariannette Miller-Meeks' defeat in her third attempt to oust Democrat Dave Loebsack in the 2nd CD means the GOP will not have a monopoly on the state's congressional delegation in the 114th Congress. The loss by Miller-Meeks (following up her defeats in 2008 and 2010) means major party nominees who lost their first two Iowa U.S. House races are now 0 for 10 the third time around in Iowa history. Miller-Meeks joins Democrat William Leffingwell (1858, 1868, 1870), Democrat Anthony Van Wagenen (1894, 1912 (special), 1912), Democrat James Murtagh (1906, 1914, 1916), Democrat Clair Williams (1944, 1946, 1952), Democrat Steven Carter (1948, 1950, 1956), Republican Don Mahon (1966, 1968, 1970), Republican Tom Riley (1968, 1974, 1976), Democrat Eric Tabor (1986, 1988, 1990), and Democrat Bill Gluba (1982, 1988, 2004) on the Hawkeye State's Three Strikes list.


Larry Pressler Wins the Silver

Larry Pressler may have fallen short in his long-shot, underfunded, and understaffed bid to return to the nation's upper legislative chamber, but he did end up notching the best showing for a non-major party South Dakota U.S. Senate candidate in more than 90 years. Pressler won 17.1 percent of the vote which is the best showing for an independent or third party U.S. Senate candidate in the state since 1920 when non-partisan candidate Tom Ayres won 24.1 percent in a race won by Republican Peter Norbeck. Overall, Pressler's 17.1 percent is good for the second best mark for a non-major party candidate across the 35 U.S. Senate contests in South Dakota history. Independent and third party candidates have appeared on the South Dakota U.S. Senate ballot just 25 times over the last century and only three have reached double digits: Pressler in 2014 and Ayres in 1920 and 1924 (12.1 percent). Pressler's defeat means he won't become the oldest candidate elected to the chamber in South Dakota history nor notch the record for the longest gap in service in the direct election era.


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