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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

Incumbents
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

Analysis
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.

Projection
Partisan shift: GOP +4
Partisan control: GOP hold

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Remains of the Data

Plurality-Winning Governors Elected At Century-Long High Water Mark

The rate of gubernatorial candidates elected without the support of a majority of voters is at its highest level since the 1910s.

Political Crumbs

Seeing Red

Congressman Nick Rahall's failed bid for a 20th term in West Virginia this cycle, combined with a narrow loss by Nick Casey to Alex Mooney in Shelley Moore Capito's open seat, means that West Virginia Democrats will be shut out of the state's U.S. House delegation for the first time in over 90 years. The Republican sweep by two-term incumbent David McKinley in the 1st CD, Mooney in the 2nd, and Evan Jenkins over Rahall in the 3rd marks the first time the GOP has held all seats in the chamber from West Virginia since the Election of 1920. During the 67th Congress (1921-1923) all six seats from the state were controlled by the GOP. Since the Election of 1922, Democrats have won 76 percent of all U.S. House elections in the Mountain State - capturing 172 seats compared to 54 for the GOP.


Home Field Advantage?

When the 114th Congress convenes in a few days, Maine will be represented by one home-grown U.S. Representative: Waterville-born Republican Bruce Poliquin. With the departure of Millinocket-born Mike Michaud, who launched a failed gubernatorial bid, the Pine Tree State was poised to send a House delegation to D.C. without any Maine-born members for the first time since 1821. Three-term U.S. Rep. Chellie Pingree (born in Minnesota) coasted to reelection as expected, however Poliquin edged Kentucky-born Emily Cain by 5.3 points to keep the streak alive. Since 1876, a total of 208 of the 222 candidates elected to the nation's lower legislative chamber from the state have been born in Maine, or 94 percent.


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