The other Republican victory

The Republicans also made big gains in our nation’s political infrastructure; that is, the important but often neglected state governments:

While the Republican gains in the House and Senate are grabbing the most headlines, the most significant results on Tuesday came in state legislatures where Republicans wiped the floor with Democrats.

Republicans picked up 680 seats in state legislatures, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures — the most in the modern era. 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.

via Devastation: GOP Picks Up 680 State Leg. Seats – Hotline On Call.

About Gene Veith

Professor of Literature at Patrick Henry College, the Director of the Cranach Institute at Concordia Theological Seminary, a columnist for World Magazine and TableTalk, and the author of 18 books on different facets of Christianity & Culture.

  • kerner

    One of the biggest swings was here in Wisconsin. We went from Democrat control of Governor’s office and both houses of the state legislature to Republican control of all of those. Plus, we gained a Republican senator and 2 Republican Congressmen. I don’t think Wiscosnin has been this Republican in my lifetime.

    So, um, Dr. Veith…are you giving any thought to moving back here? Come on. It’ll be just like Oklahoma, only colder. :)

  • kerner

    One of the biggest swings was here in Wisconsin. We went from Democrat control of Governor’s office and both houses of the state legislature to Republican control of all of those. Plus, we gained a Republican senator and 2 Republican Congressmen. I don’t think Wiscosnin has been this Republican in my lifetime.

    So, um, Dr. Veith…are you giving any thought to moving back here? Come on. It’ll be just like Oklahoma, only colder. :)

  • http://www.bikebubba.blogspot.com Bike Bubba

    One quibble on my part; I would argue that the GOP will be more successful without gerrymandered districts, as regions will tend to have a predominant political view that will tend to move to lopsided races. Gerrymandering is the attempt to get a 51% majority, and it’s a big reason we spend so much money on campaignss.

  • http://www.bikebubba.blogspot.com Bike Bubba

    One quibble on my part; I would argue that the GOP will be more successful without gerrymandered districts, as regions will tend to have a predominant political view that will tend to move to lopsided races. Gerrymandering is the attempt to get a 51% majority, and it’s a big reason we spend so much money on campaignss.

  • S Bauer

    Oh great. So I should be encouraged that the GOP is going to use a Bad Idea to ensure it can aggrandize itself at the expense of the good of the country.

  • S Bauer

    Oh great. So I should be encouraged that the GOP is going to use a Bad Idea to ensure it can aggrandize itself at the expense of the good of the country.

  • kerner

    Well, in Wisconsin in 2000 we did the opposite of what bike suggests. When we lost one congressional district, we essentially drew the remaining districts in SE Wisconsin to create 2 safe Republican districts and one safe Democratic district. I now live in the safe Dem district (containing the city of Milwaukee, and little else). Our Representative is hopelessly liberal. She has a lock on that seatr for as long as she wants it. The same is true for the heavily Republican district to the north and west. That Congressman has been in office for 30 years or so, and will be as long as he wants to be.

    I kind of long to live in a district with a 51% majority. So what if politicians had to spend money on their campaigns. At least they would feel accountable to someone.

  • kerner

    Well, in Wisconsin in 2000 we did the opposite of what bike suggests. When we lost one congressional district, we essentially drew the remaining districts in SE Wisconsin to create 2 safe Republican districts and one safe Democratic district. I now live in the safe Dem district (containing the city of Milwaukee, and little else). Our Representative is hopelessly liberal. She has a lock on that seatr for as long as she wants it. The same is true for the heavily Republican district to the north and west. That Congressman has been in office for 30 years or so, and will be as long as he wants to be.

    I kind of long to live in a district with a 51% majority. So what if politicians had to spend money on their campaigns. At least they would feel accountable to someone.

  • DonS

    The interesting thing is that all of the states that are gaining or losing a seat in the re-apportionment process are either under Republican control or not under either party’s control, except for Massachusetts, which is under Democratic control. Massachusetts, however, has 10 Democratic congressmen, and is losing a seat, so gerrymandering won’t help them.

    I hope the Republicans use their power to draw fair districts. I’m with Kerner — I like 51-49 seats that change hands as politics changes in its natural cycles. Keeps the legislators accountable to their constituents and with their feet planted in the real world.

  • DonS

    The interesting thing is that all of the states that are gaining or losing a seat in the re-apportionment process are either under Republican control or not under either party’s control, except for Massachusetts, which is under Democratic control. Massachusetts, however, has 10 Democratic congressmen, and is losing a seat, so gerrymandering won’t help them.

    I hope the Republicans use their power to draw fair districts. I’m with Kerner — I like 51-49 seats that change hands as politics changes in its natural cycles. Keeps the legislators accountable to their constituents and with their feet planted in the real world.

  • http://www.biblegateway.com/versions/Contemporary-English-Version-CEV-Bible/ sg

    Really makes you think about the situation created by direct election of senators. Now the states have no representation at the federal level. Congress could care less what governors and state legislatures think. How many unfunded mandates would pass the US Senate if all the senators were elected by their state legislatures?

  • http://www.biblegateway.com/versions/Contemporary-English-Version-CEV-Bible/ sg

    Really makes you think about the situation created by direct election of senators. Now the states have no representation at the federal level. Congress could care less what governors and state legislatures think. How many unfunded mandates would pass the US Senate if all the senators were elected by their state legislatures?

  • http://www.biblegateway.com/versions/Contemporary-English-Version-CEV-Bible/ sg

    “I hope the Republicans use their power to draw fair districts. I’m with Kerner — I like 51-49 seats that change hands as politics changes in its natural cycles. Keeps the legislators accountable to their constituents and with their feet planted in the real world.”

    It was interesting to see the election returns here in Texas. The republicans were winning with huge margins like 70%-90% and the few democrats in their gerrymandered districts were mostly winning by just over 50%, although a few were higher.

  • http://www.biblegateway.com/versions/Contemporary-English-Version-CEV-Bible/ sg

    “I hope the Republicans use their power to draw fair districts. I’m with Kerner — I like 51-49 seats that change hands as politics changes in its natural cycles. Keeps the legislators accountable to their constituents and with their feet planted in the real world.”

    It was interesting to see the election returns here in Texas. The republicans were winning with huge margins like 70%-90% and the few democrats in their gerrymandered districts were mostly winning by just over 50%, although a few were higher.

  • Dust

    what sg says in 6! same goes for return to original electoral college elections of the potus too!

  • Dust

    what sg says in 6! same goes for return to original electoral college elections of the potus too!


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