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

Which States Have the Longest and Shortest Election Day Voting Hours?

Residents in some North Dakota towns have less than half as many hours to cast their ballots as those in New York State.

Political Crumbs

Mary Burke: English First?

While multiculturalism and bilingualism are increasingly en vogue in some quarters as the world seemingly becomes a smaller place, one very high profile 2014 Democratic candidate does not shy away from the fact that she only speaks one language: English. In an attempt to highlight her private sector credentials working for Trek Bicycle, Wisconsin Democratic gubernatorial nominee Mary Burke boasts on her campaign bio page how she made great strides in international business dealings...while only speaking English: "Despite not speaking a single foreign language, she established sales and distribution operations in seven countries over just three years." Note: According to 2010 Census data, nearly half a million Wisconsinites over five years old speak a language other than English at home, or 8.7 percent, while 4.6 percent of Badger State residents do not speak English at all.


Does My Key Still Work?

Much has been made about Charlie Crist's political transformation from Republican to independent to Democrat en route to winning the Florida GOP and Democratic gubernatorial nominations over a span of eight years. Party-switching aside, Crist is also vying to become just the second Florida governor to serve two interrupted terms. Democrat William Bloxham was the first - serving four year terms from 1881 to 1885 and then 1897 to 1901. Florida did not permit governors serving consecutive terms for most of its 123 years prior to changes made in its 1968 constitution. Since then four have done so: Democrats Reubin Askew, Bob Graham, and Lawton Chiles and Republican Jeb Bush.


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