Tag Archives: State Legislature

Redistricting and the census will create more Republican House seats

First, consider this AP article which explains the redistricting advantage that Republicans have from the mid-term elections.

Excerpt:

Republicans don’t just control much of the electoral map. In some cases, they now have the power to redraw it.

Overwhelming victories in statehouses and governors’ races across the country this week have placed the GOP in command of redrawing both congressional and legislative districts to conform with Census results. It’s a grueling and politically charged process that typically gives the party in power an inherent advantage for a decade, allowing them to preserve current strongholds or to put others in play.

Along with gains in governorships this week, Republicans picked up about 680 legislative seats _ twice the number Democrats gained in their wave two years ago. For the GOP, it’s a surge that comes at the most opportune time.

“Regardless of what happens in Washington, the Democrats will not soon recover from what happened to them on a state level on Tuesday,” said Chris Jankowski, executive director of the Republican State Leadership Committee’s REDMAP project. “It was significant. It was devastating in some areas. It will take years to recover.”

Tim Storey, a redistricting expert at the National Conference of State Legislatures, estimates that Republicans will have unilateral control over the redrawing of 195 congressional districts. Democrats have just 45. The remainder are in states where either both parties have a chance to influence redistricting or where decisions will be made by independent commissions.

That doesn’t mean there will be another surge of Republicans two years from now. After all, parties still must adhere to a substantial series of legal limitations governing the composition of the districts, such as making sure districts have a similar number of voters and are compact and contiguous.

That’s good news, but there’s more good news. And this one is even better.

ECM sent this article from the leftist Washington Post, which another problem facing the Democrats in 2012: population shifting from blue states to red states.

Excerpt:

There’s really no gentle way to say this, so I’m just going to be blunt: In some ways, the political situation post-Nov. 2 is even worse for the Democrats than it may appear. And I am not just referring to the colossal losses they experienced in state legislatures — a 650+ seat swing in favor of the GOP that has left the Dems in control of the fewest state legislatures since 1928. The resulting pro-GOP gerrymandering may lastingly blunt the demographic advantage Democrats could otherwise expect to reap from population trends such as the growth of Hispanic America.

No, what’s really bad for President Obama and his party is the likely impact of the 2010 Census and ensuing House of Representatives reapportionment on the distribution of votes in the 2012 Electoral College. We can talk all day about whether a majority of voters would support Obama for re-election or not, but what really counts in presidential elections is the Electoral College. Each state’s electoral vote equals its number of representatives in the House plus two, for its Senate delegation. And since the U.S. population continues to flow South and West, reapportionment will probably add House seats in red states and subtract them in blue states. Thus, the Census looks like a setback for Democratic chances to win the 270 electoral votes necessary to become president.

Texas, which has voted Republican in 9 of the last 10 elections will gain 4 electoral votes, according to projections from preliminary Census data by Polidata.com. The other gainers — one vote each — include Arizona, Florida, Georgia, Nevada, South Carolina and Utah. All of these states have voted for the GOP candidate in at least 7 of the last 10 elections.

To be sure, Florida and Nevada have been more up for grabs of late: Obama carried both in 2008. But the only reliably blue state that looks like gaining an electoral vote is Washington, which backed the Democrat in 6 of the last 10 elections. Only one reliably red state — Louisiana — is losing an electoral vote.

Ohio, the perennial swing state — it backed the GOP in six of the last 10 elections — is losing two.

Meanwhile, eight states that usually go blue in presidential elections — Illinois, Iowa, Massachusetts, Michigan, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania and Minnesota — are projected to lose one electoral vote each.

Good news! See everyone says that I am always gloomy. There are feedback mechanisms so that people can realize what is happening and fix the problem. I am not sure how we are going to fix the people-not-marrying problem, but I’m sure there must be a way.

Republicans won a record-breaking 680 seats in state legislatures

Wow… the ultra-leftist National Journal reports on the 680 seats lost by Democrats in the state legislatures. (H/T ECM)

Excerpt:

Republicans picked up 680 seats in state legislatures, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures — an all time high. To put that number in perspective: In the 1994 GOP wave, Republicans picked up 472 seats. The previous record was in the post-Watergate election of 1974, when Democrats picked up 628 seats.

The GOP gained majorities in at least 14 state house chambers. They now have unified control — meaning both chambers — of 26 state legislatures.

That control is a particularly bad sign for Democrats as they go into the redistricting process. If the GOP is effective in gerrymandering districts in many of these states, it could eventually lead to the GOP actually expanding its majority in 2012.

Republicans now hold the redistricting “trifecta” — both chambers of the state legislature and the governorship — in 15 states. They also control the Nebraska governorship and the unicameral legislature, taking the number up to 16. And in North Carolina — probably the state most gerrymandered to benefit Democrats — Republicans hold both chambers of the state legislature and the Democratic governor does not have veto power over redistricting proposal…

And Fox News reports that the Republicans won a huge number of governorships as well.

Excerpt:

In Michigan, Republican businessman Rick Snyder, who vowed to turn around the state’s devastated economy, defeated Lansing Mayor Virg Bernero, a Democrat.

In Ohio, another closely watched race, and one of the fiercest, Republican John Kasich, a former chairman of the House Budget Committee, defeated Democratic Gov. Ted Strickland.

In New Mexico, Republican Susana Martinez became the first Hispanic woman to become a state’s chief executive.

In Oklahoma, U.S. Rep. Mary Fallin, a Republican, became the state’s first female governor. She defeated Democratic Lt. Gov. Jari Askins to replace term-limited Democratic Gov. Brad Henry.

In Tennessee, Republican Knoxville Mayor Bill Haslam defeated Democratic businessman Mike McWherter to win the state’s open governorship.

In Kansas, conservative Republican Sen. Sam Brownback defeated Democratic state Sen. Tom Holland to win the governorship. Democrat Kathleen Sebelius was elected in 2002 and again in 2006 before joining Obama’s Cabinet as secretary of health and human services. Lt. Gov. Mark Parkinson replaced Sebelius but did not run for a full term.

In Wyoming, former U.S. attorney Matt Mead, the Republican nominee, defeated former state Democratic chairwoman Leslie Petersen. And Republican Utah Gov. Gary Herbert won another two years in office.

A Tea Party-backed South Carolina Republican, state Rep. Nikki Haley, was elected to replace term-limited Republican Gov. Mark Sanford. Haley won over state Sen. Vincent Sheheen.

In a high-profile race for which both parties spent millions, Texas Republican Gov. Rick Perry, who has already served 10 years, defeated Democrat Bill White, a former mayor of Houston.

South Dakota’s Republican lieutenant governor, Dennis Daugaard, defeated Democratic challenger Scott Heidepriem to succeed term-limited Gov. Mike Rounds, keeping the seat in GOP hands. Alabama also remained in the Republican column as state Rep. Robert Bentley defeated Democratic nominee Ron Sparks. Republican Gov. Bob Riley is term-limited.

In Nebraska, Republican Gov. Dave Heineman was easily re-elected over the Democratic candidate, lawyer Mike Meister.

It was a landslide. The worst defeat the Democrats have ever endured. I am a big admirer of Mary Fallin, by the way. She is ultra-conservative. She is the third of the trifecta of female Republican governors. These are very conservative women – excellent choices for the Republican party, and possible future Presidents!

Oh, by the way… what do these Republican governors do? They cut spending.

Excerpt:

When Governor Christie set his sights on reducing the size of government and the debt in the Garden State, he is keeping that promise.

The governor announced that beginning January, he’ll cut 1,200 state jobs saving New Jersey taxpayers $8.8 million. The job cuts will include layoffs and attrition.

So why January you may ask?

Previous liberal tax and spend governor, Jon Corzine created a deal with his buddies in the state’s unions to prevent Christie from cutting these jobs before leaving office. The deal prevented these lay offs until January 2011.

Christie said the layoffs are needed to balance the state’s $29.4 billion budget. This is the type of fiscal conservatism that has made Governor Christie a rock star in the Republican party.

That’s what they were elected to do, and they’ll do it.