Thursday, December 16, 2004

Dems do better in state races -- almost perfect 50-50 split

Republicans did a lot better in federal races than Democrats this year, largely because of Republican-friendly voting systems like the U.S. Senate and a new map in Texas.

Democrats did better than Republicans in state races, bringing the totals up to an almost-perfect 50-50 split of 3,658 Dems to 3,656 GOP state legislators (with two still in recounts).

This USA Today article covers the story, and this page for the National Conference of State Legislators does as well.

The following states are under Democratic legislative control, and are therefore, Blue America:

Alabama, Arkansas, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Hawaii, Illinois, Louisiana, Massachusetts, Maryland, Maine, Mississippi, North Carolina, New Jersey, New Mexico, Rhode Island, Vermont, Washington, West Virginia.

The following state legislatures are under Republican control, and are therefore, Red America:

Alaska, Arizona, Florida, Georgia, Idaho, Indiana, Kansas, Michigan, Missouri, North Dakota, New Hampshire, Ohio, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, South Dakota, Texas, Utah, Virginia, Wisconsin, Wyoming.

We should be reaching out the state legislators in the first list and giving them bill ideas. That's what the Center for Policy Alternatives is about, and after their conference last weekend, I've got a ton of good bill ideas to promote (many of them from Illinois, which emerged as a sort of star state at the conference).

One other interesting note: there's a disconnect in about half those states between their legislative control and their statewide vote. Some states, like Illinois, California, Texas, Utah, and Virginia match up. But some states like Alabama, Mississippi, Florida, Michigan and Wisconsin voted for one party statewide and the other party runs both legislative chambers.

That's an indictment of the distorting effects of our winner-take-all voting system. We should use proportional representation so the majority of voters in a state get to pick the majority of state legislators.

4 comments:

Amy Allen said...

Astute post, as usual, Mr. W. The Texas state legislature-post DeLay redistricting-is GOP for the first time in over a hundred years(it has been for the last several cycles.) The Florida legislature is also recently in Republican hands for the first time in over a century. Ander Crenshaw, who is, obviously, a FL congressman(whose father in law, whose surname was Kirk, had been gov and Crenshaw had run and been defeated by Jeb Bush in the primary) had been Senate President.

FightforJustice said...

Counting up the states listed by Dan, the GOP controls 20 states versus 19 for the Dems.

FightforJustice said...

When it comes to controlling the governor and both houses of the legislature, Republicans have 12 states compared to only seven for the Dems.

Dan Johnson-Weinberger said...

Which ones?