Candidate Counts: Democrats Fight for 27 Senate Seats, 61 House

206 South Dakotans are running for the 105 seats in the South Dakota Legislature. 118 are Republicans, 86 are Democrats, and 2 are Independents. (More Independents may join the show—their filing deadline is April 26.)

The following table summarizes how many candidates from each party are running for each chamber, how many primary races we have, and how many seats are walks for each party

Democrats Republicans
House Candidates 58 77
House Primaries (Districts) 3 (18, 22, 25) 12 (3, 11, 14, 16, 19, 23, 25, 28B, 30, 31, 32, 33)
House Seats Contested 55 61
House Seats Guaranteed (Districts) 8 (1, 1, 7, 15, 21, 22, 26A, 28A) 15 (2, 19, 20, 20, 23, 23, 24, 24, 26B, 28B, 29, 29, 31, 31, 34)
Senate Candidates 28 41
Senate Primaries 1 (15) 10 (5, 7, 9, 19, 28, 30, 32, 33, 34, 35)
Senate Seats Contested 27 29
Senate Seats Guaranteed (Districts) 6 (1, 15, 18, 21, 26, 27) 8 (2, 14, 23, 24, 28, 29, 31, 35)

Assuming no Independent challenges, we Democrats have six guaranteed Senate seats 17% of the chamber, compared to the Republicans lock on 23% of the Senate. We need to win six more Senate seats—hold Districts 4 and 8 (Kathy and Scott, make it so!); flip four more—to grab the one-third necessary to hold up tax bills and motions to suspend the rules. We need to hold 4 and 8 and flip ten seats to win a majority. That’s 4/7, 57%, of the Senate seats where we are challenging Republicans. (Kyle, Mary, Holly, Jim P., Tom, Jim S., Denny, Chad, Shane, Russell, Quinten, Chuck, Jeff, Karla, David, Haven, Jay—we can do ten, right?).

In the House, we Dems have eight guaranteed seats, 11% of the chamber, versus 21% guaranteed for the GOP. We need to win sixteen more House seats to grab one-third. We need to win 28 seats—hold four contested in 7, 9, 15, and 17, flip 24 more—to gain a majority. That would be a 60% success rate in our contested House races.

Democrats left 20% of Senate seats and 21% of House seats uncontested. The majority party, which ought to have all sorts of climbers and cronies eager to join the powers that be, made no play for 17% of Senate seats and 13% of House seats.

South Dakota Democratic Party chair Ann Tornberg, who is running with fellow Dem Ted Curry for District 16 House, points to improved candidate recruitment under her first year of her chairship. “This is the most Democratic candidates we’ve had file since 2008,” says Tornberg. Now we need to have the most Democratic candidates stick in and win.


9 Responses to Candidate Counts: Democrats Fight for 27 Senate Seats, 61 House

  1. The number of Democratic candidates is great. Let’s win a lot of seats and inspire even more Democrats to step up to the challenge.

  2. Mark, “great” might overstate it. The number is better than the last few times. But I won’t say great until we have every slot filled, including all of the 30s, and Democratic primaries breaking out Spearfish and Alexandria.

  3. Good Sense

    How many of these candidates are just placeholders?

  4. We don’t know, and won’t until August. These numbers are the hard data we have now.

  5. Gov Dayton will do the same thing to neighboring SD if hate becomes law there. Just think SD, halting all state travel to your state. Just think of all that money you would lose from things like college basketball tournaments. Money that SD really needs and depends upon.
    Hate just causes the worst problems doesn’t it.

  6. well, our candidates are about 2/3s of republicans’. not too shabby. considerably more than normal? oh lynn, bob, where are the latest numbers on dem vs. repub vs. indep registrations?

    we are about 150k so far in a state of 850k. or about 200k plus in the last election.

  7. Jenny, a Minnesota boycott of South Dakota would be a grave situation. We need more sensible Dems to make sure that doesn’t happen!

    Leslie, current counts: 167,265 Democrats, 240,611 Republicans, 515 Constitutionalists, 108,576 Independent, 2151 other (a lot of those Libertarians who failed to file their petition for party recognition), and 519,118 total active voters.

    That’s 32% Dem, 46% GOP, 21% Indy.

  8. I think this my comment was meant to go in the Deutch article you had about N Carolina and Miss. and their anti LGBT laws.

  9. boy that indy is getting big. thx cory.