Go to HHH home page.
Smart Politics
 


Smart Politics Projections: South Dakota U.S. House

Bookmark and Share

Herseth Sandlin tries to avoid the biggest fall by a U.S. House incumbent in South Dakota history

Current delegation partisan split
Democrats: 1 at-large seat

Incumbents
Democratic incumbents: 1

Analysis
South Dakota's at-large race in 2010 is a quintessential 'toss-up' contest with two competing variables in play.

On the one hand, Representative Stephanie Herseth Sandlin has been personally well-regarded by her electorate throughout most of her six years in office and, in true Blue Dog Democrat fashion, she does not have the voting history that might ordinarily alienate the conservative South Dakota electorate in a GOP-leaning year.

However, the problem for Herseth Sandlin is not simply that she is facing a worthy opponent in 2010 (Kristi Noem is the Assistant Majority Leader in South Dakota's House of Representatives), but that the Congresswoman has no padding at the top of the ticket.

Not only is Republican gubernatorial nominee Dennis Daugaard expected to win big, but the Democratic Party's failure to field a candidate in the U.S. Senate contest against 1-term GOP incumbent John Thune marks the first time in 34 contests since popular vote U.S. Senate elections were introduced in 1914 that a Democratic candidate has not appeared on the ballot in South Dakota.

The net result is that if Roem should upset the Congresswoman on Tuesday, Herseth Sandlin's plunge from a 35.1-point victory over her GOP rival in 2008 to a loss in 2010 would mark the biggest fall by a U.S. House incumbent in Mount Rushmore State history.

Such a fall would be certainly unusual. So, unusual, in fact, that perhaps Noem's momentum will be curbed at the 11th hour by South Dakota's independent streak that often finds its electorate splitting its ballot. The Republican-heavy state has elected Democrats in 11 of 15 at-large elections since the number of South Dakota's representatives dropped from two to one in 1982, without voting for a Democratic president or governor once during this span.

Projection
SD-AL. Stephanie Herseth Sandlin (Democratic hold)

Partisan shift: No change

Follow Smart Politics on Twitter.

Previous post: Smart Politics Projections: Iowa U.S. House
Next post: Smart Politics Projections: Minnesota U.S. House

Leave a comment


Remains of the Data

Is There a Presidential Drag On Gubernatorial Elections?

Only five of the 20 presidents to serve since 1900 have seen their party win a majority of gubernatorial elections during their administrations, and only one since JFK.

Political Crumbs

Strike Three for Miller-Meeks

Iowa Republicans had a banner day on November 4th, picking up both a U.S. Senate seat and one U.S. House seat, but Mariannette Miller-Meeks' defeat in her third attempt to oust Democrat Dave Loebsack in the 2nd CD means the GOP will not have a monopoly on the state's congressional delegation in the 114th Congress. The loss by Miller-Meeks (following up her defeats in 2008 and 2010) means major party nominees who lost their first two Iowa U.S. House races are now 0 for 10 the third time around in Iowa history. Miller-Meeks joins Democrat William Leffingwell (1858, 1868, 1870), Democrat Anthony Van Wagenen (1894, 1912 (special), 1912), Democrat James Murtagh (1906, 1914, 1916), Democrat Clair Williams (1944, 1946, 1952), Democrat Steven Carter (1948, 1950, 1956), Republican Don Mahon (1966, 1968, 1970), Republican Tom Riley (1968, 1974, 1976), Democrat Eric Tabor (1986, 1988, 1990), and Democrat Bill Gluba (1982, 1988, 2004) on the Hawkeye State's Three Strikes list.


Larry Pressler Wins the Silver

Larry Pressler may have fallen short in his long-shot, underfunded, and understaffed bid to return to the nation's upper legislative chamber, but he did end up notching the best showing for a non-major party South Dakota U.S. Senate candidate in more than 90 years. Pressler won 17.1 percent of the vote which is the best showing for an independent or third party U.S. Senate candidate in the state since 1920 when non-partisan candidate Tom Ayres won 24.1 percent in a race won by Republican Peter Norbeck. Overall, Pressler's 17.1 percent is good for the second best mark for a non-major party candidate across the 35 U.S. Senate contests in South Dakota history. Independent and third party candidates have appeared on the South Dakota U.S. Senate ballot just 25 times over the last century and only three have reached double digits: Pressler in 2014 and Ayres in 1920 and 1924 (12.1 percent). Pressler's defeat means he won't become the oldest candidate elected to the chamber in South Dakota history nor notch the record for the longest gap in service in the direct election era.


more POLITICAL CRUMBS

Humphrey School Sites
CSPG
Humphrey New Media Hub

Issues />

<div id=
Abortion
Afghanistan
Budget and taxes
Campaign finances
Crime and punishment
Economy and jobs
Education
Energy
Environment
Foreign affairs
Gender
Health
Housing
Ideology
Immigration
Iraq
Media
Military
Partisanship
Race and ethnicity
Reapportionment
Redistricting
Religion
Sexuality
Sports
Terrorism
Third parties
Transportation
Voting