That is the conclusion of the New York Times in an Upshot article this week. The piece uses a combination of polling to arrive at the conclusion.
Of specific interest is the finding regarding 15 of the 19 most-Republican states. The 15 include South Dakota and each of the 15 has two Republican senators.
Just as the passage of Obamacare handed the U.S. Senate’s majority to the Republicans in the 2010 elections, the House-passed repeal of Obamacare could hand the Senate’s majority back to the Democrats. It depends most on the match-ups in each state, and the voters’ perceptions in each state of the specific match-up.
The U.S. House of Representatives approved big changes in the health-care legislation that most of its Republicans passed this spring. The Senate Republicans quickly took their deliberations behind closed doors. One reason might be the Senate Republicans’ sensitivity to their party colleagues in the House. A Republican senator doesn’t need to be publicly pitted against Republican representatives.
The spread in South Dakota, according to the estimate by the Times, is 15 points: 48 percent of South Dakotans oppose the House Republicans’ measure, while 33 percent support it.
The aye cast by U.S. Rep. Kristi Noem might not affect her in the Republican primary contest for the nomination for governor against state Attorney General Marty Jackley and possibly other Republican candidates. We won’t know until the votes are counted after election polls close on the evening of June 5, 2018. She is South Dakota’s only member in the U.S. House.
Her vote could have some effect in the November 2018 general election. The state Senate’s Democratic leader, Billie Sutton of Burke, recently declared his candidacy for governor next year. But that election is 17 months away.
The U.S. Senate could (and probably will) pass a less-offensive version of the health-insurance law, perhaps later this year. That would put the Senate and the House on a path to negotiating the differences. The House and Senate roll calls that follow those negotiations likely would focus those voters who care most about this matter. That aye or nay will count.