From Facebook, South Dakota Democrats are promoting a news article that attempts to point out how people are interested in running:
And if you click on the link… it has absolutely nothing to do with South Dakota. And on top of that, the author of the article, Alex Seitz-Wald, has been cited by at least one website as a friendly reporter where Democrats “planted” articles favorable to themselves.
In South Dakota over the past several election cycles, Democrat’s main problems electorally have been of their own doing. Instead of devoting resources into party building, voter registration, and recruitment, they’ve been dumping tens of thousands of dollars into petition registration drives that have provided no discernable benefit to voter registration or candidate recruitment.
In fact, the past several cycles have proven to be among their lowest water marks in a half-century. The party is life support from the national party in terms of funding, at the same time while they maintain a staff that accomplishes little else but an occasional snarky press release.
Further crippling the party is an odd 4-year election cycle for chair, which has them forced to remain under the yoke of Ann Tornberg, who drove the party to record low numbers in the prior election.
Tornberg fared poorly – hitting a 50 year low for state democrat numbers in elections – against a GOP organization in 2016 which had focused much of it’s efforts into defeating a couple of ballot measures which threatened to remove party label from the ballot. A measure favored by some Democrats that they believed might improve their electability by hiding the fact they were Democrats, but in practice, is less than a success.
In 2018, as opposed to facing a GOP focusing on ballot measures, Tornburg will be facing a GOP led by her nemesis, former State Senator Dan Lederman. In past legislative elections, Tornburg both ran directly against Lederman in the Senate, as well as against house members strongly supported by Lederman. In every case, Tornburg was trounced, and turned away from the ballot box.
Now, a damaged liberal political party at historic lows led by Tornburg is facing a newly re-energized and active GOP led by Lederman, who has made grassroots activism and party building a priority.
Observers may have to avert their eyes, as the battle may be quite lopsided, and not very pretty.