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South Dakota Primary Maps: Rounds, Daugaard Dominate; Wismer Beats Lowe

The South Dakota primary is all done but the shouting, of which we will do plenty in the Wednesday blog cycle. To get us started, let's look at the county maps for the GOP Senate race and the Democratic gubernatorial race (no need for a map of the GOP gubernatorial primary: just picture one solid block of Daugaard red):

2014 GOP Senate Primary (click to embiggen!)

As we may have expected, Rounds dominated, winning 60 counties and 55.54% of the statewide vote. Larry Rhoden jumped to second place at 18.25%, taking four counties. Rhoden only pulled 40.91% of his home county of Meade, with Rounds at his spurs with 37.01%. Rhoden was strongest in Ziebach, where he won 53.33%

Third-place finisher Stace Nelson won 17.69% statewide. He won only two counties, but he won his home county with 70.64%.

2014 Democratic Gubernatorial Primary (click to embiggen!)

The Democratic gubernatorial primary made for a more interesting map. Susan Wismer won statewide 55.48% over Joe Lowe's 44.52% and took 44 counties to Lowe's 22. Wismer grabbed a handful of Lowe's West River neighbors, but Lowe made similar inroads into Wismer's East River territory. Lowe beat Wismer by 62 votes in Minnehaha County.

But Wismer held a better home turf advantage: in northeastern South Dakota, she beat Lowe with 70% of more of the vote. In her home county of Marshall, she took over 85%. Out West, Lowe took his home turf of Meade and Pennington with much smaller majorities (54.6% and 53.6%, respectively). Despite more work as state fire chief on the reservations, Lowe still split Indian Country with Wismer. Lowe's best finish came in Tripp County, where Wismer still broke 40 and held Lowe to 58.85%.

You can dig into the statewide race data yourself on the Secretary of State's website. Stay tuned for more anlysis of these results as well as the Legislative primaries!


  1. Kurt Evans 2014.06.04

    You may find these interesting, Cory. They're the numbers of votes each candidate in the Senate primary received per $1,000 raised, rounded to the nearest whole vote.

    Ravnsborg: 2,066 / $11,000 x $1,000 = 188
    Nelson: 13,178 / $131,000 x $1,000 = 101
    Rhoden: 13,591 / $136,000 x $1000 = 100
    Rounds: 41,372 / $2,800,000 x $1000 = 15
    Bosworth: 4,282 / $1,100,000 x $1000 = 4

  2. Tim 2014.06.04

    Wismer winning is a surprise to me, I thought Lowes message was a good one, looks as though east river voters were the difference. I thought Lowe had the best chance against Rounds, will see.

  3. Tim 2014.06.04

    And on a totally different note, GOP voters in District 33 picked the bigot Jensen to be their rep in the general. What does that say about west river republicans?

  4. Mark 2014.06.04

    Incredible about District 33. Low turnout definitely increases odds of shockers. I cannot believe Jensen really represents the majority in his district...

  5. Troy 2014.06.04

    Here is the shocker to me

    Republicans have primaries where outcome is not in doubt but only margin of victory: 31% turnout.

    Democrats have primary where outcome is in doubt: 15% turnout.

    Lora Hubbel's 19% is within a thousand votes of Wismer's 55%.

  6. Lynn 2014.06.04

    Troy is would be interesting to find out what are the reasons for such a low turnout here in South Dakota. It's very disturbing for our state and unhealthy in our Democracy.

    Was South Dakota unique in the low turnout among other states?

    Is it the lowest ever?

    What was the level of activism from the state's two major parties?

    Does the growing number of Independent registered voters play a part in the low turnout?

  7. larry kurtz 2014.06.04

    Dems registered as GOP, Troy: duh.

  8. Jenny 2014.06.04

    Most people are not into politics, and let alone voting in a primary on a nice summer day.

  9. COLTAR.THE.BARBARIAN 2014.06.04

    Kurt -

    Where's that $2.8 Million # coming from?

  10. Chris S. 2014.06.04

    In addition to primary turnout always being low on a nice summer day, the Democratic primary only featured one race with two total candidates. Even if the Republican races didn't turn out to be close, there were multiple races to be decided, with multiple candidates running. That alone probably increased voter turnout. A lot more voters felt strongly about at least one candidate in one of the races and was motivated to go vote.

  11. Kal Lis 2014.06.04

    To the best of my knowledge, there was no exit polling, so I don't know if there's data to answer this question, but I'll ask anyway. How many I Independents cast votes for Wismer?

    My gut tells me that most Independents went for Lowe.

    On Troy's question, I hope Larry's answer is correct because that answer suggests it's possible to have a functioning opposition party in the state. Once again, my gut leaves me pessimistic. Low turnout lkely indicates those dissatisfied with Republican dominance have reached the "f*@# it,, it doesn't matter any more" stage.

  12. mike from iowa 2014.06.04

    I will not accept any wingnut victories in South Dakota. I declare all Dems as winners and wingnuts can go to heck.

  13. Lynn 2014.06.04

    Coo Coo were was your post deleted?

  14. JeniW 2014.06.05

    Interesting that there is little mention voting at the primary also included voting for district judge.

    Voting for judge creates less than interest than voting for school Board members?

    Watch this, the next time someone complains about a judge's decision she/he will write "vote him/her out of office."

Comments are closed.