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

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.


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