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John Thune Shouldn't Be A Senator



As I’ve said many times, South Dakota shouldn’t even be a state. It should be cojoined with North Dakota and Wyoming and be called Dakota. There are 896,581 people in South Dakota, 770,026 in North Dakota and 581,075 in Wyoming. And together they have 6 U.S. senators, all right-wing extremists whose views are antithetical to the interests of the vast majority of Americans. Together, Dakota would have 2,247,682 people, fewer than Kansas. But, like Kansas, they would have 2 senators and instead of 6 members of Congress, Dakota would have 4.


But right now South Dakota is one of the reddest states in the country. Its R+16 PVI is worse than Alabama, Louisiana, Mississippi or any other Confederate state. And it’s turned into a one-party autocracy. All the constitutional officers are Republicans, as are all the state's federal electeds. The state senate consists of 32 Republicans and 3 Democrats and the state House has 62 Republicans and just 8 Democrats. In 2020, Trump beat Biden 261,043 (61.8%) to 150,471 (35.6%). Of the state’s 66 counties, Trump won 60, including all the big ones. Basically, Native Americans vote for Democrats; that’s it. Two counties— Harding and Haakon-- gave Trump over 90% of their votes. With the exception of the LBJ landslide against Goldwater in 1964, the last times a Democratic presidential candidate won South Dakota was 1932 and 1936, when FDR swept the state.


This cycle, Senator John Thune, Senate GOP whip, is up for reelection. Thune is hoping to follow McConnell as party leader in the upper house, not likely with the kind of animus Trump has for him. But Trump failed in his bid to recruit a primary opponent against Thune and now he’s facing off against moderate Democrat Brian Bengs, an attorney and career military guy. Bengs, an independent running as a Democrat, exploded into the online political consciousness today with the compelling ad up top made by Frank Eaton who usually works for high profile conservative Democrats like… Joe Biden, Hillary Clinton and Amy McGrath. It really is a great ad though.


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