Daschle vs. Roberts, 1982


In 1982, South Dakota’s two U.S. representatives faced an unpleasant reality. The state’s two House districts were being consolidated into one, so the state’s two congressmen would have to run against each other in a rare incumbent vs. incumbent battle.

The race pitted Tom Daschle, an Aberdeen-raised Democrat from the state’s eastern side, against Clint Roberts, a Presho-raised, mustachioed cowboy Republican from the state’s western side.

From the vantage point of today, most people would assume Daschle won big. It wasn’t so. He eked out a slight 4-percentage point victory, 52-48.

Daschle later moved on to the Senate and served through 2004, including a stint as majority leader. Roberts was never again elected to Congress.

But in 1982, as you can see in these images, they were both still very young with unknown futures.

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