As we all try to remember that it’s actually 2015 as we write a check, the year to come is brand new, and full of possibilities. At dakotawarcollege, it leaves us thinking about what to expect in the realm of politics over the course of the coming months, as we count down the new election cycle to 2016.
And actually, I think it’s going to be fairly quiet. There will be moments here and there, hints of races to come, and we can always expect the unexpected. But nothing like 2014, where a US Senate race dominated the tapestry.
So, gazing into the void, what do I think is coming?
During the legislative session: Highway improvements and the funding thereof are going to receive a large part of the discussion during session. I think we’ll see a minor divide between those who want to raise taxes, and those who have foresworn against any notion of it. But with gas tax revenues taking a hit due to a greater supply lowering prices, it’s going to be difficult to argue that the status quo will get us through another fiscal year.
As I noted in my top 10 list, I think we’ll see a freedom-of-religion act return for debate given the same-sex marriage lawsuit pending.
With even further reduced numbers in the House of Representatives, Democrats will have even less of an impact in what happens in Pierre. Speaking of which…
On the US Senate Front: John Thune is arguably the most popular politician in the state. He has $9 or $10 million in the bank. Democrats have no bench, period. And I don’t see that changing anytime soon. I don’t anticipate that we will see a Democrat challenger emerge to the Senator in 2015, if we see one at all.
While there is an independent talking about running in the form of Kurt Evans, who we featured here recently for what some would consider bigoted statements about Catholics, I don’t anticipate we’ll hear anything unless he withdraws from the race in 2015 as opposed to withdrawing in 2016. Basically, that dog isn’t going to hunt.
February will bring us some leftovers from the 2014 US Senate race as Annette Bosworth goes to court, but I don’t anticipate that’s going to be much more than getting through it, and getting the final results. The only surprise would be if she would be able to successfully avoid conviction.
I’m more curious to see if her husband will face similar charges once Annette’s are resolved one way or another.
Congressionally: I predict that Congresswoman Kristi Noem is going to run again in 2016, and Dems will largely leave her alone in the year leading up to it. They may attempt a challenger in 2016, but considering the shellacking she delivered to them in November, they’re in no hurry to deliver a lamb to the slaughter.
I know there’s more out there, and I don’t want to let this post get too long. What do you anticipate in the world of politics for 2015? Give us your predictions under the comment section.