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banner Friday, 7 January, 2000, 17:45 GMT
South Dakota

Despite two Democratic senators, South Dakota is largely Republican.

Key facts
738,171 (ranked 45 among states)
Governor: William J. Janklow (R)
Electoral College votes: 3
The Republicans have the governorship, the House seat and the legislature and in the 20th century the state voted Democrat in presidential elections just three times.

South Dakota used to be a farm state, but is becoming more like the west, a vast expanse of empty grasslands and horizons.

1998 Congress
House of Representatives: 1 Republican
Senate: 2 Democrats
The south is home to the Oglala Sioux, one of the USA's largest Native American tribes and one still living in poverty-stricken reservations. In the 1990s South Dakota saw an influx of finance and computer firms, attracted by low wages and low taxes. Citibank employs more than 3,000 people and Gateway is based in North Sioux City.

Voting record
1996: Dole 47%, Clinton 43%
1992: Bush 41%, Clinton 37%, Perot 22%
1988: Bush 53%, Dukakis 47%
Many people have moved to the cities as a result. Metro Sioux Falls has grown by 23% since the beginning of the 1980s and Rapid City by 16%. South Dakota also has the nation's lowest unemployment rate, falling to 1.4% in Sioux Falls in 1999.

But farming has not fared so well, and low crop prices have wounded east South Dakota's agriculture-based economy. Economic prosperity has hardened Republican support and the 1996 Freedom to Farm Act to phase out farm subsidies has deflated the Democrats' main electoral issue.

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Links to more States stories are at the foot of the page.


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