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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

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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