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Smart Politics Projections: South Dakota House (2008)

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Through the morning of November 4th, Smart Politics is running a series of electoral projections for Upper Midwestern federal and state governmental contests. The ninth projections in the series are State House races in the State of South Dakota.

South Dakota: State House.
Balance of power: Republicans (50 to 20)
2006 Results: Democrats +1
Seats up for reelection in 2008: 70
Open seats: Republicans = 20; Democrats = 11
Incumbents on the ballot: Republicans = 30; Democrats = 9

Outlook: South Dakota's House is divided into 33 two-member districts and 4 single-member districts. Major parties can run up to two candidates in each dual-member district. Despite only gaining one seat in the Democratic-friendly national political environment of 2006, House Democratic candidates will have more opportunities to cut into the GOP's 30-seat advantage this year. Democrats have opportunities for pick-ups in Districts 3, 12, 18, 19, 20, 21, 26B, 31, 32, and 33. Republicans, meanwhile, are hoping to help negate any losses by picking up seats in Districts 22 and 25. Both Republicans and Democrats have opportunities for pick-ups in Districts 8, 14, and 27. As with the State Senate races, Democrats will be assisted at the margins with Senator Tim Johnson and At-large Representative Stephanie Herseth-Sandlin on the ballot, as well as Barack Obama at the top of the ticket.

Projection: Democrats +5. Republicans retain control of House.

Previous post: Smart Politics Projections: South Dakota Senate (2008)
Next post: Smart Politics Projections: Federal Races in Minnesota

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Remains of the Data

No Free Passes: States With 2 Major Party Candidates in Every US House Race

Indiana has now placed candidates from both major parties on the ballot in a nation-best 189 consecutive U.S. House races, with New Hampshire, Minnesota, Idaho, and Montana also north of 100 in a row.

Political Crumbs

Gubernatorial Highs and Lows

Two sitting governors currently hold the record for the highest gubernatorial vote ever received in their respective states by a non-incumbent: Republican Matt Mead of Wyoming (65.7 percent in 2010) and outgoing GOPer Dave Heineman of Nebraska (73.4 percent in 2006). Republican Gary Herbert of Utah had not previously won a gubernatorial contest when he notched a state record 64.1 percent for his first victory in 2010, but was an incumbent at the time after ascending to the position in 2009 after the early departure of Jon Huntsman. Meanwhile, two sitting governors hold the record in their states for the lowest mark ever recorded by a winning gubernatorial candidate (incumbent or otherwise): independent-turned-Democrat Lincoln Chafee of Rhode Island (36.1 percent in 2010) and Democrat Terry McAuliffe of Virginia (47.8 percent in 2013).


An Idaho Six Pack

Two-term Idaho Republican Governor Butch Otter only polled at 39 percent in a recent PPP survey of the state's 2014 race - just four points ahead of Democratic businessman A.J. Balukoff. Otter's low numbers reflect his own struggles as a candidate (witness his weak primary win against State Senator Russ Fulcher) combined with the opportunity for disgruntled Idahoans to cast their votes for one of four third party and independent candidates, who collectively received the support of 12 percent of likely voters: Libertarian John Bujak, the Constitution Party's Steve Pankey, and independents Jill Humble and Pro-Life (aka Marvin Richardson). The six candidate options in a gubernatorial race sets an all-time record in the Gem State across the 46 elections conducted since statehood. The previous high water mark of five candidates was reached in seven previous cycles: 1902, 1904, 1908, 1912, 1914, 1966, and 2010.


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