SOUTH DAKOTA 3 Electoral Votes 
link to clickable map
(Source: U.S. Census Bureau, South Dakota Secretary of State)
Total Resident Population, July 1, 2019 est.
Registered Voters, Nov. 2020

South Dakota has: 66 counties.
Largest counties: Minnehaha, Pennington.
Largest cities: Sioux Falls, Rapid City. 

Governor: Kristi Noem (R) elected in 2018
State Legislature: South Dakota Legislature  House: 70 seats  Senate: 35 seats
Local: Cities, Counties, Tribes   NACO
U.S. House: 1R - D.Johnson (R).
U.S. Senate: Mike Rounds (R) seeking re-election in 2020, John Thune (R) re-elected in 2016.
U.S. Senate: Sen. Mike Rounds (R), seeking a second term, faces small business owner and former state legislator Dan Ahlers (D)
U.S. House:
Freshman Rep. Dusty Johnson  (R) is being challenged by Randy Luallin (L).  No Democrat qualified for the ballot.
State Legislature: All 70 House seats and 35 Senate seats are up. 
Ballot Measures:
Voters will decide on Initiated Measure 26, which would legalize marijuana for medical use; Constitutional Amendment A, which would give the state the power to legalize, regulate and tax marijuana (yes | no); and Constitutional Amendment B, allowing sports wagering in Deadwood. >

 State of South Dakota
Secretary of State

SD Democratic Party
SD Republican Party
SD Libertarian Party

Green Party of SD >
Constitution Party of SD

Argus Leader
TV, Radio

Conserv. SD War College
Lib. Dakota Free Press


The Mount Rushmore State

General Election -- Tuesday, November 3, 2020
Absentee Voting Begins: Sept. 18, 2020.
Note: For the June primary, the Secretary of State mailed absentee ballot applications to all registered voters.

Voter Registration Deadline: Oct. 19, 2020.
On the ballot
Trump/Pence (Rep.)

Jorgensen/Cohen (Lib.)

Biden/Harris (Dem.)

Overview: President Trump set the tone for his campaign in his July 3, 2020 speech at Mount Rushmore, describing an America where, "Angry mobs are trying to tear down statues of our Founders, deface our most sacred memorials, and unleash a wave of violent crime in our cities (+)."

Primary Election -- Tuesday, June 2, 2020
Voter Registration: Dem. 154,311; Rep. 261,598; Lib. 1,937; No Party Affil./Indep. 130,187; Other 1,336.  Total 546,899.  Ballots Cast 153,031.
unofficial: Biden 40,590 (77%), Sanders 11,818 (23%)  Total 52,408.

21 Delegates: 10 District, 4 At-Large, 2 PLEO and 5 Unpledged.

no presidential primary

General Election Winners in South Dakota, 1992-2016
1992 1996 2000 2004 2008 2012 2016
  and the details...

General Election -- Tuesday, November 8, 2016
Voting Eligible Population*: 632,989.
VEP Highest Office Turnout Rate: 58.5%.

Absentee voting begins: Sept. 23, 2016.
  ("Any registered voter may vote by absentee ballot. Voters do not need to provide a reason in order to absentee vote. Absentee ballots are available 46 days prior to the election.")

Voter Registration Deadline: Oct. 24, 2016.
Official Results 1,2

+Trump/Pence (Rep.)
Johnson/Weld (Lib.)
Clinton/Kaine (Dem.)
Castle/Bradley (Const.)

Total voter turnout 378,995.
Overview: The Mount Rushmore State remained solidly in the Republican column.  The strong showing by Trump-Pence and weak showing by Clinton-Kaine resulted in a plurality of 110,263 votes (29.79 percentage points) for the Republican ticket, as they carried 61 of 66 counties. 
   None of the major party candidates visited.  Libertarian Gary Johnson rallied in Rapid City on the evening of Oct. 26 after VP nominee Bill Weld spent three days in state, Oct. 19-21, making stops in Sioux Falls, Spearfish, and Rapid City.
Clinton  |  Trump
General Election -- Tuesday, November 6, 2012
Voting Eligible Population*: 612,310.
VEP Highest Office Turnout Rate: 59.4%.

Voter Registration Deadline: Oct. 22, 2012.

Official Results >

Obama/Biden (Dem.)
Goode/Clymer (Const.)
+Romney/Ryan (Rep.)
Johnson/Gray (I)

Total voter turnout 368,570.
2012 Overview
The Romney-Ryan ticket won with a plurality of 65,571 votes (18.02 percentage points), carrying 56 counties to 10 for Obama-Biden.  The only campaign visit was Libertarian VP nominee Jim Gray's appearance at the University of South Dakota on Sept. 12.  (Vice President Joe Biden made a non-campaign visit on Oct. 25; he spoke at evening prayer service for Sen. George McGovern in Sioux Falls).
Obama  | 

General Election -- Tuesday, November 4, 2008
Voting Eligible Population*: 598,635.
VEP Highest Office Turnout Rate: 63.8%.

Absentee and early voting started Sept. 23.

Registration: Rep. 241,528 (45.53%)   Dem. 204,413 (38.53%)   Const. 315   Lib. 1,059   Other 674   Indep. 82,473 (15.55%)   ...Total 530,462 (active)

Official Results >

Obama/Biden (Dem.) 170,924
Baldwin/Castle (Const.)
+McCain/Palin (Rep.) 203,054
Barr/Root (Ind.)
Nader/Gonzalez (Ind.) 4,267

2008 Overview
South Dakota remained in the Republican column as it has since LBJ took the state in 1964.  McCain-Palin won South Dakota's three electoral votes with a plurality of 32,130 votes (8.41 percentage points).  McCain carried 50 counties to 16 for Obama.  McCain spoke at the Sturgis rally at Buffalo Chip Campground on Aug. 4 and overnighted in Rapid City.  He had no staff or office in state.  Obama only visited during the primary (May 31 and June 1) but his campaign did open an office in Sioux Falls.  McCain received endorsements of the Argus Leader (Oct. 26), Mitchell Daily Republic (Oct. 27) and Rapid City Journal (Nov. 3); former Sen. Larry Pressler (R) endorsed Obama.
Obama/Allies  |  McCain/Allies  |  Nader

General Election -- Tuesday, November 2, 2004
Voting Eligible Population*: 569,161.
VEP Highest Office Turnout Rate: 68.2%.

Voter registration deadline for the general election is October 18, 2004. (SDCL 12-4-5)

Ralph Nader's Independent presidential campaign reported that it submitted more than 5,100 signatures on August 2, 2004. South Dakota requires 3,346 valid signatures signatures by August 3.
Official Results

+Bush/Cheney (Rep.)
Kerry/Edwards (Dem.)
Nader (Ind.)
Peroutka (Const.)
Badnarik (Lib.) 964

2004 Overview
President Bush won South Dakota with a plurality of 83,289 votes (21.47 percentage points)

General Election -- Tuesday, November 7, 2000
Voting Eligible Population*: 548,498.
VEP Highest Office Turnout Rate: 57.7%.

As a result of S.B. 34, passed and signed into law in 1999, South Dakota's petition filing deadline for independent candidates was moved up to June 20, 2000, third earliest in the nation (before Nader even accepted the Greens' nomination on June 25).  Nader needed signatures of registered voters equal to at least one per cent of the total votes cast for Governor in the previous gubernatorial election (2,602 valid signatures) by June 20.  The campaign took the matter to court but was unsuccessful.
Official Results              

+Bush/Cheney (Rep.)
Buchanan/Foster (Ref.)
Gore/Lieberman (Dem.)
Browne/Olivier (Lib.)
Phillips/Frazier (Ind.)

2000 Overview
The presidential race had turned out fairly close in South Dakota in 1992 and 1996, but not this time around as Bush won with a plurality of 71,896 votes (22.74 percentage points).  Bush carried 61 of 66 counties, including the two largest; Gore won five small counties scattered around the state. 

1992 and 1996 General Elections
Archive Pages: 2016 | 2012 | 2008 | 2004 | 2000 1992
Bush (Rep.)...........136,718
Clinton (Dem.).......124,888
Perot (Ind.)..............73,295
Others (3).................1,353
Total Registration:  448,292
Turnout:  336,254
Turnout as % of Reg.:  75.0%

Dole (Rep.)............150,543
Clinton (Dem.).......139,333
Perot (Ind.).............31,250
Others (3).................2,700
Total Registration:  455,971
Turnout:  329,316
Turnout as % of Reg.:  71.6%