Go to HHH home page.
Smart Politics
 


Rounds Rolls in South Dakota GOP US Senate Primary

Bookmark and Share

Despite facing a field that was tied for the largest in party history, Mike Rounds notched the sixth biggest victory margin in a contested Republican South Dakota U.S. Senate primary

mikerounds10.jpgEfforts by his opponents to brand Mike Rounds as too moderate over the last year did not sway the Republican South Dakota electorate Tuesday, when it nominated the former two-term governor in the 2014 U.S. Senate race.

Rounds won with 55.4 percent of the vote, with State Senator Larry Rhoden in second with 18.5 percent followed by State Representative Stace Nelson with 17.6 percent, physician Annette Bosworth with 5.7 percent, and attorney Jason Ravnsborg in last with 2.8 percent.

The 36.9-point victory by Rounds was more than decisive - it was one of the strongest performances in a GOP U.S. Senate primary in state history.

Smart Politics examined the 35 Republican U.S. Senate primaries in South Dakota history and found that Mike Rounds' victory margin was the sixth largest among the 20 contested GOP primaries since 1914.

All that in what was tied for the largest field in party history.

The five candidates in the Republican Party's primary this cycle was matched only once over the nearly three-dozen such contests in state history.

In 1972, Robert Hirsch finished first of five candidates with 27.4 percent of the vote and was later nominated at the state convention because he did not reach the 35 percent threshold.

The other five GOP primary victors with larger victory margins than Rounds had fewer candidates in the race to contend with:

· In 1926, incumbent U.S. Senator Peter Norbeck won by 37.2 points in a head-to-head matchup against George Danforth

· In 1932, Norbeck won by 52.7 points in a three-candidate field over Harry Brownell

· In 1978, Larry Pressler won by 47.8 points in a two-candidate race against Ronald Williamson

· In 1980, James Abdnor was victorious by 45.8 points in a head-to-head matchup against Dale Bell

· In 2008, Joel Dykstra won by 40.9 points in a three-candidate field over Sam Kephart

The average victory margin in contested GOP U.S. Senate primaries over the last 100 years has been 23.3 points.

The odds of Rounds winning north of 55 percent again in the general election in five months is perhaps not so rosy.

In November, Rounds will face Democratic nominee Rick Weiland, former GOP U.S. Senator turned independent Larry Pressler, former GOP State Senator turned independent Gordon Howie, and independent Clayton Walker.

Early public opinion surveys with Pressler in the mix have seen the former three-term U.S. Senator poll in the mid-teens, helping to depress Rounds' support down to the high 30s to low 40s.

South Dakota voters have not had so many candidate options in a U.S. Senate race in more than 80 years.

Follow Smart Politics on Twitter.

Previous post: Ernst Eyes Outright Primary Victory in Iowa GOP US Senate Race
Next post: McDaniel vs Cochran 2nd Most Competitive US Senate Primary in Mississippi History

Leave a comment


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.


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