10 December 2011

Rank 33 / 19: South Dakota

THE DAKOTAS:
South Dakota







Results of the last 6 presidential cycles:



Year
Rank
Winning %
% Margin
Part. Value
Swing“
National Swing
Trend
2008
33 19

53.16%
+8.41%
+15.67%
-13.06%
+9.72%
+3.34
2004
42 11
59.91%
+21.47%
+19.01%
-1.26%
+2.98%
+4.24
2000
44 / 08
60.30%
+22.73%
+23.25%
+19.27%
+8.00%
+11.27
1996
37 / 15
46.49%
+3.46%
+11.98%
-0.06%
+2.96%
+3.02
1992
38 / 15
40.66%
+3.52%
+9.08%
-2.82%
+13.29%
+16.11
1988
21 / 31
52.85%
+6.34%
-1.39%
-20.13%
-10.49%
+9.64


South Dakota margin average, 1988-2008 (6 cycles): GOP +10.99%

Trend: LEAN DEMOCRATIC

The Trend explanation comes deep within the analysis, for this analysis is mostly of both Dakotas together, which makes sense once you see all the data.


The Partisan Rankings over 44 years

The partisan rankings for Ranking 33 (South Dakota, highlighted in yellow) and 35 (North Dakota, highlighted in green) from 2008 backwards in history to 1964, in Table-format, in two graphics, are published here at politicalhotwire.com.

Links – South Dakota

Helpful Info Links
Helpful Election Links
SD population 2008: 804,194
(ND population 2008: 641,481)
SD VT link (1998-2004)
SD Population Density: 4.1 persons per sq. Km.
(ND Population Density: 3.6 persons per sq. Km.)
SD Electoral Vote Density: 268,065 persons per EV.
(ND Electoral Vote Density: 213,827 persons per EV.)
SD VR Archives – N/A

SD Electoral development (electors through history): 4 (1892-1908), 5 (1912-1928), 4 (1932-1980), 3 EV (1984-present).

For comparison, ND electoral development 
(electors through history): 3 (1892-1900), 4 (1904-1908), 5 (1912-1928), 4 (1932-1968), 3 EV (1972-present).


SUMMARY – South Dakota

South Dakota is the 19th most conservative state and the 33nd most liberal state, with a Republican winning margin of +8.41% and having voted 15.67% more Republican than the national margin in 2008. 

South Dakota was the 11th most conservative state and the 42nd most liberal state in 2004, with a Republican winning margin of +21.47% and having voted 19.01% more Republican than the national margin in that year.

South Dakota was the 8th most conservative state and the 44th most liberal state in 2000, with a Republican winning margin of +22.73% and having voted 23.25% more Republican than the national margin in that year.

Since its entry into the Electoral College in 1892 (30 cycles), South Dakota has gone for the GOP 
25 times, for the DEMS 4 times, and for an independent candidate 1 time.

(For comparison: 
Since its entry into the Electoral College in 1892 (30 cycles), North Dakota has gone for the GOP 24 times, for the DEMS 5 times, and for an independent candidate 1 time.)


From 1904-2008, South Dakota went for the GOP 23 times, for the DEMS 3 times and for an independent candidate 1 time.

(For comparison: From 1904-2008, North Dakota went for the GOP 22 times, for the DEMS 5 times.)

From 1920-present (23 cycles) both North and South Dakota have gone for the same candidate in every cycle, having gone for the GOP 20 times and for the DEMS 3 times. In other words, since 1920, both Dakotas' electoral records are identical.


DETAILS

"The Dakotas" is a collective term used to describe both North and South Dakota, both of which once belonged to the Dakota Territory and became states on Saturday, November 2, 1889, during the Presidency of Benjamin Harrison (R). The term is used to indicate the absolute commonality that the two states have with each other in:

-geography (including geographical size: SD - 199,739 sq. KM and rank 17 in area, ND - 183,112 sq. km and rank 19 in area). Were the Dakotas combined into one state, it would be the third largest state in the Union, between California and Montana.

-population: SD pop. 814,180, rank 46 / ND pop. 672,591, rank 48. Were both Dakotas combined into one state, it would have a population of 1,486,771, just slightly less than the state of ID (1,567,582) and would be rank 40. ID has 4 EV. Both Dakotas, with less population that ID, have 6 EV combined.

-fauna, sociology, economy (agrarian),

-demographic make-up: both states are overwhelmingly white (between 86% and 90%), most of them of  Northern European heritage, a a minority of mostly American Indians (5 to 8%), 1% black, 3-4% other. North Dakota has the slightly higher percentage of whites, South Dakota has the slightly higher percentage of American Indians (3% more), and this slight difference shows up in the voting records of these two states.

-cuisine

-political tilt.

Now, a North Dakotan or a South Dakotan will not want to admit it, but if there were ever two states in our Union that could have been and probably should have been fused together, it would be these two states. However, that is not how history would have it. But for the purposes of electoral statistics, it makes sense to analyse these these two states together at once.

I have taken the table from the top of the report and added North Dakota to it, with a comparison column underneath:


North and South Dakota Comparison

Year

Rank
Winning %
% Margin
Part. Value
Swing“
National Swing
Trend
2008
SD
33 19
53.16%
+8.41%
+15.67%
-13.06%
+9.72%
+3.34

ND
35 / 17
53.15%
+8.65%
+15.91%
-18.71%
+9.72%
+8.99

Diff:
ND +2
SD +0.01%
ND +0.24%
ND +0.24
SD: +5.65
---
SD: +5.65









2004
SD
42 11
59.91%
+21.47%
+19.01%
-1.26%
+2.98%
+4.24

ND
46 06
62.86%
+27.36%
+24.90%
-0.24%
+2.98%
+3.22

Diff:
ND +5
ND +2.95%
ND +5.89%
ND +5.89%
ND: +1.02
---
ND: +1.02









2000
SD
44 / 08
60.30%
+22.73%
+23.25%
+19.27%
+8.00%
+11.27

ND
46 / 06
60.66%
+27.60%
+28.12%
+20.69%
+8.00%
+12.69

Diff:
ND +2
ND +0.36
ND +4.87%
ND +4.87
ND: +1.42
---
ND: +1.42









1996
SD
37 / 15
46.49%
+3.46%
+11.98%
-0.06%
+2.96%
+3.02

ND
43 / 09
46.94%
+6.91%
+15.43%
-5.12%
+2.96%
+8.08

Diff:
ND +6
ND +0.45%
ND +2.85%
ND +2.85%
SD: +5.06
---
SD: +5.06









1992
SD
38 / 15
40.66%
+3.52%
+9.08%
-2.82%
+13.29%
+16.11

ND
48 / 04
44.22%
+12.03%
+17.59%
-1.03%
+13.29%
+14.32

Diff:
ND +9
ND +3.56
ND +8.51%
ND +8.51%
ND +1.79
---
ND +1.79









1988
SD
21 / 31
52.85%
+6.34%
-1.39%
-20.13%
-10.49%
+9.64

ND
30 / 22
56.03%
+13.06%
+5.33%
-17.98%
-10.49%
+7.49

Diff:
ND +9
ND +3.18
ND +6.72
ND +6.72
ND +2.15
---
ND +2.15


The numbers for the Dakotas are sea of "red", until you get to the TREND values.

First, 2008: You cannot get a closer photo-finish among two states than here between SD and ND. The toplines: in 2008, SD went for John McCain with 53.16%, ND went for him with 53.15%. Difference: SD +0.01% in topline percentage. A 0.01% margin variance is - in a case like this - nothing more than statistical noise. For all intents and purposes, the toplines are identical. But the partisan rankings are not based on topline percentages, they are based on margins, and here the margins are also exquisitely close to each other: SD went for McCain by +8.41%, ND went for McCain by +8.65%. Difference: ND +0.24% on margin. You would think that with margins this close, both Dakotas would be right next to each other in the Partisan Rankings, but John McCain's home state of Arizona landed statistically smack-dab in the middle of the two, with +8.48%.

If you look closely at this table, you will notice that, with the exception of  the 2008 topline, ND is the state with the higher winning percentages and margins for all Republican candidates. The result is, when ND does come back to earth in a close election, the TREND can be somewhat more Democratic.

Now, to the TREND values. It can look very counterintuitive to see two states with such large margins for Republican candidates, and indeed, for most of the last 30 cycles, both Dakotas have given the GOP double digit margins. But in the last 6 cycles, there have 4 cycles where SD was won with a single digit margin and 2 cycles where ND was won with a single digit margin. But one thing stands out: on the whole, ND is  4%- to - 6% more Republican on margin in most every cycle, across the board. And in the few elections where a Democrat won, ND was also between 4% - 6% - higher in margin over SD. Perhaps it is the slight difference in population between the two or the larger American Indian population in SD, but ND tends to have larger swing values than SD. The end-result, however, is the same: both states have been very reliably "core" GOP states.

Let's take 2008 as an example of TREND value: John McCain won SD in 2008 with +8.41%. George W. Bush won SD in 2004 with +21.47%. Simple math: 8.41 minus 21.47 = -13.06. This means that the statewide swing (or partisan shift) was 13.06% away from the GOP and toward the Democratic Party (the shift in IN was 21.73%, which flipped the state for Obama). The national swing was +9.72% for Obama, which is -9.72% for John McCain. Again, simple math: -13.06 - (-9.72) = -13.06 + 9.72 = -3.34, represented as a postive value for the other party: +3.34. It is the same math for ND, but since ND gave Bush 43 a richer margin in 2004, it had to fall harder in order to land dead-even with SD in 2008. For this reason, ND has a LARGER Democratic TREND value of +8.99.

So, when you look at the table, you see 5 of 6 cycles where the TREND for both states has been for the Democratic party.

But a trend is not a prediction, and a state with a tendency for crushing margins for one party and go through cycles of TREND values for the other party and still be a reliable core state for "it's" party. And this is the case with both Dakotas.

I have taken the data for the entire presidential electoral history of both Dakotas and put the most important data in one table. North Dakota is shaded in light yellow, South Dakota is shaded in light blue. There is a grey separation column between 1920 and 1916:

North Dakota
Total
Margin
%Margin
Dem
Rep
Ind
Oth.
South Dakota
Total
Margin
%Margin
Dem
Rep
Ind
Oth.
Margin Compare
2008
317,738
27,484
8.65%
44.50%
53.15%
0.00%
2.34%
2008
381,975
32,130
8.41%
44.75%
53.16%
0.00%
2.09%
ND +0.24
2004
312,833
85,599
27.36%
35.50%
62.86%
0.00%
1.64%
2004
388,215
83,340
21.47%
38.44%
59.91%
0.00%
1.65%
ND +5.89
2000
288,267
79,568
27.60%
33.05%
60.66%
3.29%
3.00%
2000
316,269
71,896
22.73%
37.56%
60.30%
0.00%
2.14%
ND +4.87
1996
266,411
18,145
6.81%
40.13%
46.94%
12.20%
0.73%
1996
323,826
11,210
3.46%
43.03%
46.49%
9.65%
0.83%
ND +3.35
1992
308,133
37,076
12.03%
32.18%
44.22%
23.07%
0.53%
1992
336,254
11,830
3.52%
37.14%
40.66%
21.80%
0.40%
ND +8.51
1988
297,261
38,820
13.06%
42.97%
56.03%
0.00%
1.00%
1988
312,991
19,855
6.34%
46.51%
52.85%
0.00%
0.64%
ND +6.72
1984
308,971
95,907
31.04%
33.80%
64.84%
0.00%
1.36%
1984
317,867
84,154
26.47%
36.53%
63.00%
0.00%
0.47%
ND +4.57
1980
301,545
114,506
37.97%
26.26%
64.23%
7.84%
1.67%
1980
327,703
94,488
28.83%
31.69%
60.53%
6.54%
1.24%
ND +9.14
1976
297,094
17,392
5.85%
45.80%
51.66%
0.00%
2.54%
1976
300,678
4,437
1.48%
48.91%
50.39%
0.00%
0.70%
ND +4.37
1972
280,514
73,725
26.28%
35.79%
62.07%
0.00%
2.15%
1972
307,415
26,531
8.63%
45.52%
54.15%
0.00%
0.32%
ND +17.65
1968
247,882
43,900
17.71%
38.23%
55.94%
5.75%
0.08%
1968
281,264
31,818
11.31%
41.96%
53.27%
4.76%
0.00%
ND +6.40
1964
258,389
41,577
16.09%
57.97%
41.88%
0.00%
0.15%
1964
293,118
32,902
11.22%
55.61%
44.39%
0.00%
0.00%
ND +4.87
1960
278,431
30,347
10.90%
44.52%
55.42%
0.00%
0.06%
1960
306,487
50,347
16.43%
41.79%
58.21%
0.00%
0.00%
SD +5.53
1956
253,991
60,024
23.63%
38.09%
61.72%
0.00%
0.19%
1956
293,857
49,281
16.77%
41.61%
58.39%
0.00%
0.00%
ND +6.86
1952
270,127
115,018
42.58%
28.39%
70.97%
0.00%
0.64%
1952
294,283
113,431
38.54%
30.73%
69.27%
0.00%
0.00%
ND +4.04
1948
220,716
19,327
8.76%
43.41%
52.17%
0.17%
4.25%
1948
250,105
11,998
4.80%
47.04%
51.84%
0.00%
1.12%
ND +3.96
1944
220,171
18,391
8.35%
45.48%
53.84%
0.00%
0.68%
1944
232,076
38,654
16.66%
41.67%
58.33%
0.00%
0.00%
SD +8.31
1940
280,775
30,554
10.88%
44.18%
55.06%
0.00%
0.77%
1940
308,427
45,703
14.82%
42.59%
57.41%
0.00%
0.00%
SD +3.94
1936
273,716
90,397
33.03%
59.60%
26.58%
0.00%
13.82%
1936
296,452
34,160
11.52%
54.02%
42.49%
0.00%
3.49%
ND +21.51
1932
256,290
106,578
41.58%
69.59%
28.00%
0.00%
2.41%
1932
288,438
84,303
29.23%
63.62%
34.40%
0.00%
1.98%
ND +12.35
1928
239,867
24,793
10.34%
44.46%
54.80%
0.00%
0.74%
1928
261,865
54,943
20.98%
39.20%
60.18%
0.00%
0.61%
SD +10.64
1924
199,081
5,009
2.52%
6.96%
47.68%
45.17%
0.19%
1924
203,868
25,944
12.73%
13.35%
49.69%
36.96%
0.00%
SD +10.21
1920
205,776
122,650
59.60%
18.19%
77.79%
0.00%
4.02%
1920
182,237
74,754
41.02%
19.72%
60.74%
0.00%
19.54%
ND +18.58

















1916
115,390
1,735
1.50%
47.84%
46.34%
0.00%
5.82%
1916
128,942
5,026
3.90%
45.91%
49.80%
0.00%
4.29%
Diff: 5.40
1912
86,580
3,829
4.42%
34.14%
26.67%
29.71%
9.48%
1912
116,325
9,869
8.48%
42.07%
0.00%
50.56%
7.37%
Diff: 12.90
1908
94,525
24,795
26.23%
34.79%
61.02%
0.00%
4.19%
1908
114,775
27,270
23.76%
35.08%
58.84%
0.00%
6.08%
ND +2.47
1904
70,014
38,322
54.73%
20.39%
75.12%
0.00%
4.49%
1904
101,395
50,114
49.42%
21.67%
71.09%
0.00%
7.24%
ND +5.31
1900
84,216
13,141
15.60%
39.64%
55.25%
0.00%
5.11%
1900
96,124
14,986
15.59%
41.14%
56.73%
0.00%
2.13%
ND +0.01
1896
47,391
5,649
11.92%
43.65%
55.57%
0.00%
0.78%
1896
82,950
183
0.22%
49.70%
49.48%
0.00%
0.82%
Diff: 12.14
1892
36,118
181
0.50%
0.00%
48.50%
49.01%
2.49%
1892
70,513
8,344
11.83%
12.88%
49.48%
37.64%
0.00%
Diff: 12.33

From the table, we can state some very clear facts:


-In 21 of 30 cycles, ND has gone for the winner with a larger margin than SD, and in 13 of those 21 cycles, the difference in margin between ND and SD has been between 3.5 and 6.5 points. The is a pattern we see more of in the late 20th century and now in the 21st century.
There are some amazing parallels between the two Dakotas:

-Both states experienced their record setting "squeaker" election within the first two Presidential cycles in their electoral history: in 1892, ND went for James Weaver (IND - Populist Party) by just 
+0.50%. No other race in ND's history has come this close. Likewise, in 1896, in SD, Democratic Candidate William Jennings Bryan (who ran on both the Democratic Ticket AND the Populist "Peoples" Ticket), eeked out a +0.22% win over Republican national winner William McKinley. No other race in SD history has even come close to this one.

-Both states experienced their record setting landslide percentage and percentage margin for the same candidate in the same year: Teddy Roosevelt (1904): in ND, Roosevelt won with 
75.12%* of the PV and a massive +54.73% margin*. In SD, Roosevelt won with 71.09% and a +49.24% margin. Only Eisenhower in 1952 has come relatively close to these statistics in both ND and SD.

*very similar statistic to Nixon in GA in 1972


-Both states saw 1 
IND win before 1920: the already aforementioned Weaver win in ND in 1892 and the Teddy Roosevelt (IND - "Bull Moose Party") win in SD in 1912, with +8.48% over national winner Woodrow Wilson (D). BTW, SD was Teddy Roosevelt's only majority win in 1912 (he won 6 states: CA, WA, SD, MN, MI and PA, a total of 88 EV) - Taft was not on the ballot in SD. In ND, Taft was on the ballot, and here, Woodrow Wilson won ND.

-Both states saw heightened 4th party activity in 1912,4th parties got 
9.48% of the vote in ND and 7.37% of the vote in SD (in the case of ND, more than Ross Perot got nationally as a 3rd party candidate in 1996, to note), and in both cases most of that 4th party vote was for Eugene Debs (Socialist Party) and Eugene Chafin (Prohibition Party).
-From 1920 through 2008 (23 cycles), both Dakotas have identical voting records, with somewhat different margins.



Both states had one episode of large 4th party involvement, unrelated to the other state:

SD saw a massive, localized 4th party involvement in 1920. Parley Christiansen, candidate for the Farmer-Labor Party, got 0.99% of the vote nationally, but in SD, he got a whalloping 19.54% of the vote in SD - his best showing in the Union. He also garnered 19.37% of the vote in Washington State in that year. Nothing like that happened in ND. Christiansen was not on the ballot in 32 of of 48 states.

ND saw a massive, localized 4th party involvement in 1936. William Lemke of the "Union Party" took 13.41% of the vote. Lemke was an attorney from North Dakota who was infuriated with FDR over the farm mortgage issue of the 1930s. Lemke was also on the ballot in SD and got 3.49%, but this kind of 4th party percentage was the norm for SD for many cycles. I say "4th" party as Lemke never really made a hard national run for it and was not on the ballot in 17 of 48 states.

The one noticeable difference in electoral statistics between these two states, or the outlier, if you will, was 1972: in 1972, Sen. George McGovern (D-SD) was the Democratic challenger to incumbent Richard Nixon. Nixon still won McGovern's home state of SD with +8.63%, while he took ND with a crushing +26.28%, making for a partisan difference between these two states.

McCain's +8.41% win in SD in 2008 made the race relatively lean, but he still did better than Bob Dole in 1992, Bush 41 in both 1992 and 1988, Gerald Ford in 1976 (Carter almost flipped this state in 1976) and Thomas Dewey in 1948.

Based on their voting records, neither SD nor ND are not bellwether states, both having missed the winner in the electoral college 8 of 23 cycles since 1920 and having missed the winner in the popular vote 9 of 23 cycles since 1923.




SD Superlatives
YEAR
Candidate
Winning %
Notes
GOP
1904
Roosevelt, T
71.09%
+54.73% margin 
DEM
1932
Roosevelt, FD
63.62%
+41.58% margin 
IND
1912
Roosevelt, T.
50.56%
 +8.48% margin
---------------------


Winning Margin %

All-time “squeaker”
1892
Bryan
+0.22%
183 votes 

In both North and South Dakota, the Governor, Lt. Governor, 1 Senator and the 1 US Representative are Republicans. The other Senator is a Democrat. In both the North Dakota Legislative Assembly and the South Dakota Legislature, the Republican Party has massive hypermajorities in all four Houses.

Facit: in 2007, I wrote: "South Dakota is a safe Republican state and will most likely vote Republican in the next election cycles, but generally with more moderate margins than Utah or Wyoming."

Facit 2011: Facit 2007 still holds.

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