South Dakota is part of a broader, stable, two-party system, and I don’t think this system would overturn that. It would make it easier for small parties like the Libertarians to impact public policy, and maybe in certain cases they might even hold the balance of power and be able to enter into coalition governments to run the House. But generally I expect we’d see a clear two-party system endure. [Emphasis mine]The words "clear" and "endure" seem odd choices. First, state legislatures in general seem to be increasingly dominated by a single party:
Divided government still rules in the nation’s capital after Tuesday’s vote, but unity is increasingly the name of the game in Annapolis, Topeka, Concord, Little Rock and other capital cities.
In a little-noticed footnote to the elections, votes to fill legislative seats produced the highest number of states with one-party rule in 60 years. Democrats or Republicans now have sole control of the governorship and both legislative chambers in 37 state capitals.The trend toward single party rule seems a recent national phenomenon:
The number of states with divided government is down from 31 just 16 years ago to 12 today, prompting speculation about the country’s evolving partisan geography.South Dakota, however, has a much longer history of single party rule. The state has a 70 member House. Democrats haven't held over 25 seats in this century. The state hasn't had a Republican governor since 1979.
Democratic officials and candidates lament about how when voters don’t know enough about individual candidates, they default to the “R” — a tendency that would only be exacerbated here.I've lived in South Dakota since the early 1980s; I haven't seen any evidence of an actual two party system. There's been the cult of McGovern and a few people with a historic family name but no real Democratic party, If a two party system is going to "endure," shouldn't it actually exist?
Perhaps someone within the Democratic Party hierarchy should do a thought experiment about how to create a sustainable party.