Through the morning of November 4th, Smart Politics is running a series of electoral projections for Upper Midwestern federal and state governmental contests. The ninth projections in the series are State House races in the State of South Dakota.

South Dakota: State House.
Balance of power: Republicans (50 to 20)
2006 Results: Democrats +1
Seats up for reelection in 2008: 70
Open seats: Republicans = 20; Democrats = 11
Incumbents on the ballot: Republicans = 30; Democrats = 9

Outlook: South Dakota’s House is divided into 33 two-member districts and 4 single-member districts. Major parties can run up to two candidates in each dual-member district. Despite only gaining one seat in the Democratic-friendly national political environment of 2006, House Democratic candidates will have more opportunities to cut into the GOP’s 30-seat advantage this year. Democrats have opportunities for pick-ups in Districts 3, 12, 18, 19, 20, 21, 26B, 31, 32, and 33. Republicans, meanwhile, are hoping to help negate any losses by picking up seats in Districts 22 and 25. Both Republicans and Democrats have opportunities for pick-ups in Districts 8, 14, and 27. As with the State Senate races, Democrats will be assisted at the margins with Senator Tim Johnson and At-large Representative Stephanie Herseth-Sandlin on the ballot, as well as Barack Obama at the top of the ticket.

Projection: Democrats +5. Republicans retain control of House.