Smart Politics Projections: South Dakota House
Republicans to flirt with 50-seat mark once again in lower chamber
Current partisan split
Republican incumbents: 28
Open Republican seats: 18
Democratic incumbents: 21
Open Democratic seats: 3
No Republican on the ballot: 11
No Democrat on the ballot: 20
Just like the State Senate, Democrats are ceding nearly 30 percent of House seats to the Republican Party this cycle, with 20 slots unfilled in the 35 dual-member district races. However, opportunities for GOP pick-ups are a bit slimmer, as Republicans already control 66 percent of House seats, compared to 60 percent of Senate seats.
Still, in past decades, Republicans have reached even the 55 and 60 seat marks, so there is certainly some room for GOP gains, particularly with the Democratic struggles at the top of the ticket in 2010.
However, due to the large number of open Republican seats (largely due to term limits) and the strategic placing of one Democratic candidate on the ballot in some districts, the GOP will not be able to quite maximize the number of seats the current political environment would otherwise indicate. Instead, expect modest net GOP gains.
Partisan shift: GOP +3
Partisan control: GOP hold
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