THE CONGRESSIONAL RACE HAS NATIONAL IMPLICATIONS
The congressional race between Republican Rep. Kristi Noem and Democratic challenger Matt Varilek will determine how South Dakota's lone member of the U.S. House speaks and votes on taxes, spending, budget cuts and health care in the next two years. In a closely divided Congress, that could play a role in what happens to President Barack Obama's health care overhaul, what changes are made to Medicare and what provisions are included in the next farm bill.
THE LEGISLATURE WILL LOOK DIFFERENT
The makeup of the next Legislature will help determine state policy on budgets, education, economic development and other issues. But no matter which party prevails in the fight for House seats, it's likely a new face will be in at least one in every five chairs. Legislative turnover has been between 20 percent and 25 percent in recent elections.
THE PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATES SKIPPED SOUTH DAKOTA FOR A REASON
Republican presidential candidates nearly always carry South Dakota. No Democratic presidential candidate has won the state since 1964, when President Lyndon Johnson defeated Republican challenger Barry Goldwater.