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Smart Politics Projections: South Dakota House

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Republicans to flirt with 50-seat mark once again in lower chamber

Current partisan split
Republican: 46
Democrat: 24

Incumbents
Republican incumbents: 28
Open Republican seats: 18
Democratic incumbents: 21
Open Democratic seats: 3

Unchallenged seats
No Republican on the ballot: 11
No Democrat on the ballot: 20

Analysis
Just like the State Senate, Democrats are ceding nearly 30 percent of House seats to the Republican Party this cycle, with 20 slots unfilled in the 35 dual-member district races. However, opportunities for GOP pick-ups are a bit slimmer, as Republicans already control 66 percent of House seats, compared to 60 percent of Senate seats.

Still, in past decades, Republicans have reached even the 55 and 60 seat marks, so there is certainly some room for GOP gains, particularly with the Democratic struggles at the top of the ticket in 2010.

However, due to the large number of open Republican seats (largely due to term limits) and the strategic placing of one Democratic candidate on the ballot in some districts, the GOP will not be able to quite maximize the number of seats the current political environment would otherwise indicate. Instead, expect modest net GOP gains.

Projection
Partisan shift: GOP +3
Partisan control: GOP 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

Final Four Has Presidential Approval

By edging Michigan in the final seconds Sunday, the University of Kentucky guaranteed that one school in the Final Four this year would be located in a state that was not carried by President Barack Obama in 2012. (Connecticut, Florida, and Wisconsin had previously earned Final Four slots over the weekend). Across the 76 Final Fours since 1939, an average of 3.1 schools have been located in states won by the president's ticket during the previous election cycle. All four schools have come from states won by the president 29 times, with the most recent being the 2009 Final Four featuring Connecticut, Michigan State, North Carolina, and Villanova. On 30 occasions three Final Four schools have been located in states won by the president, with two schools 11 times and only one school six times (the most recent being 2012 with Kansas, Kentucky, Louisville, and Ohio State). There has never been a Men's NCAA Division I Final Four in which no schools were located in states carried by the president's ticket.


Three for the Road

A new Rasmussen Poll shows Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker in a dead heat with likely 2014 Democratic nominee Mary Burke. Walker is seeking to win his third consecutive election after prevailing in 2012's recall contest. Eight of his predecessors accomplished this feat: Republicans Lucius Fairchild (in 1869), Jeremiah Rusk (1886), Robert La Follette (1904), Emanuel Philipp (1918), John Blaine (1924), Walter Kohler (1954), Warren Knowles (1968), and Tommy Thompson (1994). Three others Badger State governors lost on their third campaign: Democrat George Peck (1894), Progressive Philip La Follette (1938), and Republican Julius Heil (1942). One died in office before having the opportunity to win a third contest (GOPer Walter Goodland in 1947) while another resigned beforehand (Democrat Patrick Lucey in 1977 to become Ambassador to Mexico). Overall Wisconsin gubernatorial incumbents have won 35 of 47 general election contests, or 74.5 percent of the time.


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