Largest Number Of One Party Rule In State Government In 60 Years

Though the government at the federal level continues to be divided between Republicans and Democrats, that is not the case for 37 states in the nation following this year’s elections. Republicans or Democrats now have sole control of the governorship and both legislative chambers in 37 state capitals.

Keely Brazil, writes for the Washington Times:

According to the National Conference of State Legislatures, which tracks party representation in the country’s 50 state governments, Democrats now control all three bases of power — the governorship and both houses of the state legislature — in 14 states and Republicans in 23, with only 12 states sharing power. Nebraska’s unicameral legislature is considered nonpartisan.

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Regional power bases also are emerging, with Democrats increasingly dominating state governments in New England.

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Conversely, the GOP for the first time since 1872 now will control the Arkansas House and Senate. Just 20 years ago, Republicans didn’t have a majority in a single legislative house in the states of the old Confederacy; now they will control all 11.

The number of states with divided government is down from 31 just 16 years ago to 12 today, prompting speculation about the country’s evolving partisan geography.

The GOP swept the Arkansas House and Senate putting them in control of both houses for the first time since 1872. They also picked up the Wisconsin Senate.

“Clearly, [Election Day] was not what Republicans were hoping for, but we remain encouraged by the successes seen at the state level across the country,” Republican State Leadership Committee President Chris Jankowski said in a statement.

“One thing remains clear — Republicans are the dominant party in the states holding a majority of state legislatures, governorships, lieutenant governorships, secretaries of state and half of the nation’s attorneys general,” he said.

Jankowski’s counterpart Michael Sargeant, also points out that Democrats gained 40 seats in chambers overall and obtained veto-proof supermajorities in California and Illinois. From Maine to Hawaii, Democratic candidates simply did a better job talking to voters and addressing issues that are important to working families,” said Sargeant.

While D.C. will be in gridlock, which is not necessarily a bad thing, unless it’s resulting in higher taxes and more debt, the state governments along with local government is really where we are most effected. If we as a people focus on local elections, we can most certainly turn the tide of many of the things the federal government attempts to do when it oversteps its bounds.

Tim Storey, elections analyst fro the National Conference of State Legislatures sums up what we all begin to wonder about. He said, “For the most part, these folks are hard-wired to get stuff done. What happens to them from the time they leave their state capital to the time they get to Washington mystifies us.”

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