Friday, July 31, 2015

What's An "R" behind A Candidate's Name Worth In A South Dakota Statewide Election

Yesterday, Dakota War College called the 2016 South Dakota United States Senate race for Republican incumbent John Thune. In the comments, Troy Jones makes an observation more interesting that the post's prognostication:
I hope Thune has competition. I want to know how low the yellow dog line really is in SD. This would give us a definitive number. I think it is 27%. (75% of registered Democrats). Weiland just about got there with 29.5%. My gut says it is a bit lower.
If Jones is using the "yellow dog" term in its traditional sense, Democrats who will vote for an actual yellow dog before voting Republican, then Susan Wismer's 25.4% in the 2014 gubernatorial race is probably an accurate number. If, on the other hand, the term is being used to indicate voters who absolutely will not vote for a Republican even without a Democrat on the ballot, then Chad Haber's 18% in the 2014 attorney-general race is probably a good number to set as an over/under.

I would like to look at the situation from a different angle. In competitive two-candidate races, each candidate is alleged to start with a base that comprises 40% of the electorate and the battle is waged to get the majority of the remaining 20%. It's pretty that in statewide races, South Dakota's Democrats do not start out with a 40% base and Republicans start with a base well about 40%. That fact raises an obvious question: What is the "R" behind a candidate's name worth? 45%?, 48%, 50% + 1 vote?

I don't know the answer. but I do have one more question; if it's truly impossible for a Republican to lose a statewide race in South Dakota, how long will it take to see the absolute corruption that comes with absolute power?

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