Amendment V isn’t the boon that Democrats think it would be.

If you recall the article that Democrat Jay Davis wrote a short time back about how Amendment V style primaries haven’t worked out how the promoters thought they would, one only has to look to recent primaries to see how it would most likely shake out in South Dakota.

Case in point, the 1994 South Dakota Gubernatorial election.

This was the election by which Governor Bill Janklow returned to the office after a hiatus, and won a primary over Governor Walter Dale Miller who was running after serving out the term of Governor George Mickelson.   At the same time on the Democrat side, Jim Beddow ran against Red Allen of Yankton, and PUC Commissioner Jim Burg.

Beddow faced Janklow in the fall, losing at about 41% to Janklow’s 55%, with Libertarian Nathan Barton picking up 4%.

If we had laws in place similar to Amendment V back then?

Republican Bill Janklow 57,221
Republican Walter D. Miller 48,754
Democratic Jim Beddow 29,082
Democratic Carrol V. Allen 12,184
Democratic Jim Burg 11,181

The primary would have given South Dakota the choice of these gentlemen, plus possibly Libertarian Barton who ran in the fall General election.

Who would have advanced to the fall election after an Amendment V primary?  Given that it’s the two top vote recipients…..

Republican Bill Janklow 57,221
Republican Walter D. Miller 48,754

The two Republicans would have gotten to fight it out all over again, because Jim Beddow couldn’t get more people to vote for him than the person who finished second in the GOP contest.  And forget the libertarian, or any independent in the fall – they would have not gotten the opportunity.

One of the arguments that Amendment V proponents use is that the Amendment V Primary will cause “more moderate candidates” to be elected to office.  I don’t know that I’d consider Walt or Bill anything less than conservative in their approach.

And despite the wool that Amendment V supporters are trying to pull over our eyes – they’re not going to bring back “the good old days” for Democrat. Unless they change their ways, it’s just not going to happen.

In South Dakota, there’s a reason all of our statewide elected officials are Republicans. They’ve reflected the values of the people who have elected them, and they’ve run effective campaigns. In many cases – especially in recent years – Democrats have not offered statewide candidates who reflect the values of the electorate, and organizationally, the party has fallen apart.

As fewer and fewer South Dakotans want to identify with Democrat policies from Washington and the Democrat’s liberal elite, the opposing party has suffered greatly.

Again, these societal changes in our state are not through any machinations of South Dakota’s majority party, but because traditional Democrats who thought their party represented the little guy now see Democrats trying to things such as regulate the water in their culvert at a federal level, mandate that their local schools allow boys in girls locker rooms, and force them to buy insurance they don’t want.

That’s not anything that happened in the country they grew up in, and they view it as part of an ever more intrusive government.

Some might argue the shift started when Democrats began identifying themselves as the party of abortion, and Republicans became the party of life. And as the policies that parties identified with became more polarized, so did people.

And in church going South Dakota, that resulted in significant losses that all the primary election modification and other attempted electoral tricks in the world can’t reverse.

2 Replies to “Amendment V isn’t the boon that Democrats think it would be.”

  1. Troy Jones

    I think you should consider the 2014 Governor Primary. Lora Hubbel almost beat Susan Wismer (within 1,115 votes).

    This is actually the biggest scam on Independent Candidates. They will have virtually not chance to appear on a General Election Ballot (unless of course we haven’t seen the worst of the implosion of the SD Dem. Party).