Every election sets the course of history. At the national level, some presidential elections are more significant than others. The election of Lincoln in 1860 or FDR in 1932 changed the course of U.S. History. Other elections, though less dramatic, are no less pivotal. Bill Clinton’s 1996 reelection campaign is not the topic of much historical discussion – but how different would America be today if Bob Dole had defeated him?
The same is true at the state level. South Dakota has had its fair share of close, competitive general election that set the course of history – from the Populist Andrew E. Lee‘s narrow election as governor in 1896 to George McGovern‘s hard-fought defeat of Joe Bottum in 1962 and John Thune‘s successful challenge of Sen. Tom Daschle, at the time the Senate Minority Leader, in 2004.
The 2016 general election does not offer such compelling candidate matchups; however, it still offers opportunities for history to be made. Over the next couple of days, a few blog posts will look at the potential “history” that could be made on Tuesday night.