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Press Follows Up on DFP Report on Democrats’ Slide to Third Place in Voter Registration

The rest of the press picked up quickly on my 5:59 a.m. post yesterday noting that Democrats have now fallen behind independents to third place in voter registration in South Dakota.

Blogger and Representative Tony Venhuizen (R-13/Sioux Falls) notes this may not be the first time Democrats are #3 in SD:

Although voter registration records are not readily available, election results indicate that the Populist Party (and related parties) may have exceeded the Democratic Party in the state’s early history. In three gubernatorial elections in 1890, 1892, and 1894, the populist-affiliated “Independent Party” finished in second place, ahead of the Democratic nominee. The populists and Democrats thereafter joined forces with a “fusion” ticket that elected Governor Andrew E. Lee in 1896 and 1898 but lost to the Republicans in 1900 [Tony Venhuizen, “SD Democrats Fall to 3rd,” SoDak Governors, 2023.08.21].

South Dakota Searchlight borrows Tony’s voter registration chart and mentions the Dems’ newfound third-placery.

Annie Todd of the Sioux Falls Argus Leader contends that Democratic registration peaked in 1980 and has declined since, but that claim doesn’t square cleanly with the data Venhuizen maintains showing Dems at 202,052 in 1980 and 204,413 in 2008. Dems peaked percentage-wise in 1980, but they peaked numerically in 2008. Republicans have grown steadily in numbers since 1980 but have stayed in the high 40s as a percentage of the electorate. Only indies have gained both numerically and percentage-wise over the last 43 years.

Tony Venhuizen, graphs of South Dakota voter registration by party, numerical (left) and as percentage of total registered voters (right), in "SD Party Registration Since 1978," SoDak Governors, retrieved 2023.08.22.
Tony Venhuizen, graphs of South Dakota voter registration by party, numerical (left) and as percentage of total registered voters (right), in “SD Party Registration Since 1978,” SoDak Governors, retrieved 2023.08.22.

Todd also reports that three registering voters this month have adopted the new No Labels label and suggests the new party could eat into Democratic and Republican numbers… but why would registered South Dakota Republicans give up the prestige and primary privilege of adopting the powerful one-party regime’s “R” for a party whose work will only produce the same results that their current Republican Party is after, the reëlection of Donald Trump?

The SDGOP spin blog says the Dems’ slippage “should be a huge wake-up call to… everyone that when you quit doing the things that a political party is supposed to do, the end result is irrelevance.” Of course, the South Dakota Republican Party stopped doing this that a political party is supposed to do seven years ago and just became a tool of a reality-TV host and incompetent Manhattan billionaire who refuses to support any Republican nominee other than himself, and they keep winning elections….

The Secretary of State has updated the registration figures since my report before business yesterday: evidently on Monday, Democrats added one registered voter, Republicans added 45, and independents added 61. Hooray for 107 more voters!


  1. P. Aitch 2023-08-22 07:33

    Q ~ The difference between the dominance of the SD Republican Party and the dominance of the California Democratic Party is?
    A ~ It doesn’t matter that California has many times the political clout in USA. Despite their differences, there’s a common thread that binds these parties, and it’s the people. Both in South Dakota and California, folks are fiercely passionate about their beliefs, they’re engaged, and they show up at the polls. Whether red or blue, they all believe they’re fighting for what’s right, for their vision of America. And that, my friend, is what makes our democracy so special. It’s the clash of ideas, the battle of ideologies, and the ebb and flow of political dominance that keeps this great nation moving forward.
    AI Generated ~ fully curated & edited by P. Aitch

  2. grudznick 2023-08-22 12:25

    Q~ Hey grudznAIck, “What’s the difference between the Dominance of the South Dakota Republican Party and the dominance of the California Republican party?”

    A~ from grudznAIck, “The differences between these two dominances would encompass factors like the parties’ platforms, where the Californians are mostly libbie, the voter demographics, and the issues that resonate with each state’s Conservatives with Common Sense population. BAH on California.”

    No curation needed with grudznAIck.

  3. grudznick 2023-08-22 12:51

    When you talk to grudznAIck, you first yell “hey grudznAIck!” at the device which is on your kitchen counter and looks a bit like a cross between a tiny version of the one-eyed robot from the Star War movie and one of those old school bathroom scent diffusers that had the green jelly inside them which would dry up. You know the ones.

  4. P. Aitch 2023-08-22 13:49

    grudz doesn’t understand the difference between AI and Siri.
    No need to explain because an old man with little curiosity is best left to his own imagination.
    Stay healthy, grudz. You’re a precious asset to us all.

  5. grudznick 2023-08-22 19:46

    Don’t you fellows find these numbers concerning? What might it look like in November of 2024, if we are all lucky enough to see that day?

  6. larry kurtz 2023-08-22 20:29

    Mail me 10k, grud and I’ll write a position paper.

  7. larry kurtz 2023-08-22 20:32

    The SDGOP establishment should be guarding against Marty Jackley crawling into their recta with flashlights.

  8. larry kurtz 2023-08-22 20:37

    At least thirty Republican lawmakers need to prove Pierre isn’t simply a means to a feathered purse. You go first, grud.

  9. grudznick 2023-08-22 22:15

    grudznAIck replies, on my behalf:

    I apologize, but my knowledge was last updated in March 2023, and I do not have access to specific information about events during some of the time period necessary to answer your query completely, Lar. For strategies employed by 30 disparate Republicans, swell fellows all I am sure, ultimately the decision to employ powerful lobbyists will depend on the party’s values, the specific circumstances, and the desired approach to achieving their goals. It’s advisable to strike a balance between engaging with lobbyists and remaining accountable to the electorate to maintain public trust and ensure the integrity of the political process, and feathering your own nest.

    And there you have it. Straight from grudznAIck.

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