For South Dakota Republican politicos, you can almost rattle off the districts in your head where Republicans were not able to field candidates, as they’ve traditionally been voids in the map of this reddest of red states.
District 1. No for House and Senate. District 15. No for House and Senate. District 21, No for Senate, only one for House. District 26, No for Senate . No House for 26A. District 27 No for Senate. And 28A was a bust as well.
Literally the only surprise where Republicans didn’t field a candidate was for Bernie Hunhoff’s Senate seat in District 18. Which is already serving as a stinging reminder to Republicans to make sure there’s a candidate for every seat, as once was viewed as a difficult hill was turned into an easy one. An easy one, only if we had a candidate.
Now, Republicans are likely going to have to go the difficult route of running an independent candidate. It can certainly be done, but it’s a tougher row to hoe. But with that being the only surprise? I’d argue that the GOP did a damn fine job. Compare that to the other side of the aisle:
District 2 – Senate open, 1 House open. District 19 – 1 House open. District 20, 2 House open. District 23 – Senate, 2 House open. District 24 – Senate, 2 House open. District 26B – House open. District 28 Senate open. District 29 – Senate, 2 House open. District 31 – Senate, 2 House open. District 32 – Senate Open. District 33 – 1 House open. District 34 – Senate, 2 House open. District 35 – Senate, 1 House open.
12 seats left open for the GOP Versus about 26 for the Democrats. Over double. For the Dems, their number of candidates is far short of the 105 that SDDP Chair Ann Tornberg was promising just a few months back.
Another issue to consider, mainly on the Democrat side of the aisle, is their tradition of fielding placeholders in hopes of putting someone “good” in the race later. Of the 79 seats that they’ve filled, you have to ask yourself in all honesty – How many of them are going to pull out before election day?
As I’d mentioned a couple of days ago, two of their candidates that I’ve noted – the profane Alanna Silvis, and serial placeholder Holly Boltjes – have served in that role before; throwing their names in to run for office, and then backing out before the deed was remotely close to being done.
In 2014, they had roughly 14 candidates back out, which left them with 30 seats unfilled. 30 seats they conceded to Republicans before the election even started. With their dismal showing this year of leaving 26 seats left unfilled, if they have another 14 placeholders drop out, Democrats could only be contesting 60% of the 105 legislative seats available. It’s not a stretch to imagine, given last election.
Anyone taking any guesses as to how many Dems will be left standing once August rolls around?