The Democratic Party might have fared well on the national stage…but South Dakota Democrats were unable to make any significant changes in Tuesday’s/last night’s elections. Matt Varilek fell to incumbent Kristi Noem in the U-S House of Representatives race. Both Republican candidates won in the Public Utilities Commission contests…and Democrats gained only one seat in the state senate. Ken Blanchard is a political science professor at Northern State University. Blanchard says the current climate of state politics in South Dakota make it difficult for any Democrat to win elections.
“I think the real problem is that the South Dakota Democratic Party needs to be rebuilt in the way that George McGovern once rebuilt it, says Blanchard. With that kind of support, somebody like Matt Varilek has a chance. Otherwise, it’s always going to be, for statewide elections, it’s going to be a difficult nut for Democrats to crack.”
Blanchard says one of the reasons why Noem was able to win reelection is because she has her finger on the pulse of South Dakota. He says Noem’s lifetime experiences make South Dakotans believe she’s one of them.