South Dakota Democrats are lamenting a lack of candidates, a lack of money, and the plain and simple truth that they are quickly approaching extinction in South Dakota in an article today by the Sioux City Journal:
But with the retirement of U.S. Sen. Tim Johnson, a Democrat from Vermillion who had held the seat for 18 years and the following loss by Democratic candidate Rick Weiland to Republican former Gov. Mike Rounds, now all three of the state’s federal lawmakers are Republicans.
“In many respects, South Dakota is a de facto one-party state,” South Dakota State University Professor David Wiltse said. “The Republican Party is strong and dominant, with little sign of weakening.”
Former South Dakota Democratic Party Executive Director Ben Nesselhuf, a former state legislator from Vermillion now living in Sioux City, conceded “the last six years the pendulum has swung hard against” Midwest Democrats.
Wiltse said South Dakota people typically identify with the Republican Party because the 20th century populism with Democratic leanings in Upper Great Plains states wore off and due to the rise of religious and social conservatism in the 1980s.
“Social conservatives and rural populists, who would have considered voting Democratic in the past, are now a unified force politically, and solidly Republican,” Wiltse said.
Jones Pranger said one indication of South Dakotans lining up with Democrats is in the outcomes of referendums where state laws were overturned, such as a hard-line abortion law. Jones Pranger and Nesselhuf said that is an indication that Democrats can rise again, given more campaign money and energized support for a new wave of candidates.
So, yes, it looks like Democrats are going to have another awful year. But, I did want to point one glaring error out to the new Democrat Executive Director since math is obviously difficult for her.
She notes “one indication of South Dakotans lining up with Democrats is in the outcomes of referendums where state laws were overturned… Jones Pranger and Nesselhuf said that is an indication that Democrats can rise again.”
There’s a simple math equation that explains the Democrat dilemma quite succinctly, and holds true on almost all occasions:
Referendums + reduced numbers of Democrat voters + No Candidates for office = DEMOCRATS LOSING ELECTIONS
Seriously!?! Who in their right mind thinks they stand a snowball’s chance in hell if they leave most of their state legislative races unchallenged while they fiddle around with ballot measures? Raiding Assisted Living Centers for placeholders and trying to rig the system so party bosses can assign candidates don’t count.
When they can show they’re a serious political party who fields candidates, maybe then they can have flights of fancy that the Democrat Party could rise again. Until then, such talk is nothing to take seriously.