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Smart Politics Projections: South Dakota State Senate

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Strong Republican presence at top of the ticket to boost GOP advantage in State Senate

Current partisan split
Republican: 21
Democrat: 14

Republican incumbents: 15
Open Republican seats: 6
Democratic incumbents: 6
Open Democratic seats: 8

Unchallenged seats
No Republican on the ballot: 3
No Democrat on the ballot: 10

The Democratic Party is yielding nearly 30 percent of the seats in the upper chamber this year, failing to run a candidate in 10 of 35 districts. Democrats narrowly picked up a few GOP seats in 2008 that should return back to the Republicans this cycle (e.g. SD 07, SD 16). Add to that the strong Republican candidates at the top of the ticket for governor and U.S. Senate, and the GOP should be able to pick off a few more seats and take control of all but the bluest of Senate districts in 2010.

Partisan shift: GOP +4
Partisan control: GOP hold

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Remains of the Data

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Political Crumbs


When Scott Walker "punted" back in February after being asked if he was comfortable with the idea of evolution he added, "That's a question a politician shouldn't be involved in one way or the other." However, it may very well be a question that is asked at one of the upcoming GOP debates this year. In South Carolina during the first GOP debate in 2012, FOX News' Juan Williams asked Tim Pawlenty, "Do you equate the teaching of creationism with the teaching of evolution as the basis for what should be taught for our nation's schools?" Pawlenty replied, "There should be room in the curriculum for study of intelligent design" but that it was up to the local school districts if it should be in a science class or comparative theory class. At the fourth Republican debate held in California, Jon Huntsman addressed the GOP becoming "anti-science" thusly: "Listen, when you make comments that fly in the face of what 98 out of 100 climate scientists have said, when you call into question the science of evolution, all I'm saying is that, in order for the Republican Party to win, we can't run from science. We can't run from mainstream conservative philosophy."

73 Months and Counting

January's preliminary Bureau of Labor Statistics numbers show Minnesota's unemployment rate of 3.7 percent was once again lower than Wisconsin's 5.0 percent. That marks the 73rd consecutive month in which Minnesota has boasted a lower jobless rate than its neighbor to the east dating back to January 2009 including each of the last 67 months by at least one point. The Gopher State has now edged Wisconsin in the employment border battle for 204 of the last 216 months dating back to February 1997. Wisconsin only managed a lower unemployment rate than Minnesota for the 12 months of 2008 during this 18-year span.


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