by Jay Kruse, Chief Advocacy Officer
Well, it’s official: Election Day 2022 has come and gone with few surprises in South Dakota. Nationally, control of Congress is still up in the air, with many key races in both the House and Senate still being called this morning. I know you are all here for a recap, so let’s dig in!
By the Numbers
With 99.8 percent of the precincts reporting, statewide voter turnout was slightly down this year compared to the 2018 midterm, which saw a 65 percent turnout. A total of 354,256 ballots were cast this year, which is approximately 59 percent of the 597,073 registered voters in the state.
Republicans will still easily hold the balance of power in both the House and Senate come legislative session in January. However, the GOP did lose 1 seat in the Senate while gaining 1 in the House. The breakdown for the 2023 legislative session will be 31-4 in the Senate and 63-7 in the House, both favoring Republicans.
Congressional Race Results
As we pointed out in my election preview, Senator John Thune was a heavy favorite to retain his seat in the U.S. Senate, and he didn’t have much trouble outpacing his challengers, receiving 70 percent of the vote!
U.S. Representative Dusty Johnson was also a heavy favorite in his effort to serve a third term in the U.S. House.
No surprises here as Dusty hauled in an impressive 77 percent of the vote.
My prediction last week was Senator Thune with a comfortable win and Congressman Johnson in a landslide. In all fairness, they were both landslide wins.
South Dakota Governor
This was definitely the South Dakota race receiving the most local and national attention prior to Tuesday. While both campaigns seemed to hold a lot of optimism heading into election day, once polls closed there never seem to be a doubt who would be the SD Governor. Early results showed Governor Noem with a large lead and former state legislator Jamie Smith was never able to close in. A KELOLAND News, Emerson College, and The Hill poll prior to the election showed Governor Noem as a 19-point favorite. The actual winning margin ended up at 27 points!
My prediction was that Governor Noem would be elected to her second term earning 55 percent or more of the vote. While I technically was correct, I was way off by 7-points! I’ll take the L.
Constitutional Amendment D - Passed
Title: An initiated amendment to the South Dakota Constitution expanding Medicaid eligibility.
Initiated Measure 27 – Failed
Title: An initiated measure legalizing the possession, use, and distribution of marijuana.
My prediction was Constitutional Amendment D and Initiated Measure 27 would both be voted down by a margin of roughly 5 to 7 percentage points. I was extremely wrong about Amendment D, which was strongly supported by the people of South Dakota. So, I will take an embarrassing L on that prediction , but I was squarely within my prediction margin on IM 27! You win some, you lose some.
One final reminder, CUNA is holding a post-election advocacy call tomorrow, November 10 at 12:00 (CT) to walk through the results and how it shapes our national credit union advocacy agenda. CUNA President & CEO Jim Nussle will be on the call, along with CUNA’s advocacy team of Richard Gose, Trey Hawkins, and Jason Stverak. You can register here.
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