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Friday, November 11, 2005

More on State Legislatures

Posted by DavidNYC

Some interesting facts from the DLCC (not to be confused with the DLC). These guys are the Democratic Legislative Campaign Committee, the folks who help Democrats get elected to state legislatures throughout the country. Take a look:

• Dems gained 46 legislative seats nationwide in 2004, moving 10 legislatures into Democratic control, while only four became GOP-held.

• Dems gained one seat (or possibly two) in NJ and one seat in VA this year.

• As a result, Dems now have eight more legislative seats nationwide than the Republicans (3,661 vs. 3,653). Not an especially meaningful measure of legislative strength, but at least it's an indicator that Dems haven't fallen behind on the state level, even if they have on Capitol Hill.

• Don't dismiss the importance of state legislatures - they are our political farm system: 57% of congressmen and 44% of governors once served as state legislators.

• This is the big one: Twenty of the 36 states in which state legislatures control redistricting are within just four seats of switching party control. These 20 states represent 195 congressional districts.

I'd love to see a list of the states mentioned in that last point, but unfortunately, the DLCC doesn't seem to name them. I did identify 37 state legislative bodies with eight-seat margins or narrower (ie, a four-seat change would shift control, or at least create a tie). The list is in the extended. Hopefully the DLCC will elaborate soon.

Alaska Upper
Arizona Upper
Colorado Lower
Colorado Upper
Delaware Upper
Illinois Upper
Indiana Lower
Iowa Lower
Iowa Upper
Kentucky Upper
Maine Lower
Maine Upper
Michigan Lower
Michigan Upper
Minnesota Lower
Minnesota Upper
Mississippi Upper
Montana Lower
Montana Upper
Nevada Upper
New Hampshire Upper
New Jersey Upper
New Mexico Upper
New York Upper
North Carolina Lower
North Carolina Upper
Oklahoma Upper
Oregon Lower
Oregon Upper
South Carolina Upper
Tennessee Lower
Tennessee Upper
Texas Upper
Virginia Upper
Washington Upper
West Virginia Upper
Wisconsin Upper

Posted at 04:47 PM in 2005 Elections, 2006 Elections - State | Technorati

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» Swing State Project on Importance of State Legislatures from Six-PAC
Check out this tremendous post at the Swing State Project (cross-posted here at Daily Kos) about the state of the state houses. DavidNYC picks up on the DLCC's post-election press release discussing the Democratic successes of 2005, and he distills [Read More]

Tracked on November 12, 2005 12:30 AM


The results of Missouri's special election are not the boon to the boy governor that they would appear on the surface. Yes, two Republicans were elected to replace two Republicans. But in another race, in the Missouri 94th Congressional district, a legislative district that President Bush carried by four percentage points just one year ago, a district that has not sent a Democrat to the statehouse in fifty-eight years, Democrat Jane Bogetto spanked Republican Moira Byrd 58-42. For stubbornly defending Governor Blunt and his policies, Moira Byrd was rewarded with a dramatic, humiliating 16-point loss.

In the rural southern Missouri 150th Legislative District, Republican Jason Smith won his seat by 600 votes, and only by running away from Governor Blunt. He asked him not to campaign for him, and he distanced himself from Blunt's policies and roundly criticized the cuts to the social safety net. Here's a pledge that Smith signed that takes to task Governor Blunt's health care cuts and talks about their devastating impact on the citizens of Crawford and Dent Counties, the counties that comprise the 150th.

In Missouri, State Representatives run every 2 years, so they are in a constant state of launching the next campaign. The drubbing of Byrd, the Blunt apologist, and the way Smith went about winning should have a sobering effect on the Republicans who have been goose-stepping to the Blunt administration's attack on the citizenry of the state of Missouri. Self-Preservation is a strong instinct, especially among politicians. Look for this to be read as a cue for the Republicans in the statehouse to distance themselves from the Governor if they want to retain their seats in Jefferson City and their stature back home. Look for some modifications to the drastic cuts and some restoration of state services, but it will still most likely be too little to late to save their sorry seats.

And by he way, Governor Blunt deserves the Sore Loser of the Week award. After the results were in, he got on the phone and called the victorious Jack Goodman who won the Missouri 29th Senate District race, and even Jason Smith who actively shunned him during his campaign. But Jane Bogetto got no phone call. She and he both represent the same people. That was just petty. Shoot, Spence (Spaz) Jackson issued a bizarre press release Wednesday morning touting the victories of Goodman and Smith as validation of Blunt's policies and pogroms. Bogetto wasn't even mentioned. Go to the state website, and no mention of her race...Until you check Secretary of State Robin Carnahan's website, where all election results are posted, right down to the hundred-odd votes garnered by third-party candidates.

So on balance, Missouri gained a Democratic seat yesterday, whether the Governor wants to mention that fact or not, and we have the opportunity to pick up another in February in the 93rd District, adjacent to the 94th, and we have another imminently qualified candidate in Genevieve Frank. Genevieve will be running to fill Jodi Stephanic's seat.

You remember Jodi-if-I-ever-need-a-heart-transplant-I-want-hers-because-it's-never-been-used-Stephanic, don't you? Her seat was vacated when Matt Blunt appointed her to be the Senior Healthcare Policy Advisor for the administration that gutted health care. This was her reward, you see. She is the one who sponsored the bill that removed 87,000 people from the state healthcare system. Her new job pays 90,000 a year - and if she coulda whacked the rolls by another 10,000 citizens, I bet she would be cracking six figures. Her new salary figures to a tidy pimp fee...She made about a buck apiece on every one of the Missourians who got screwed by her bill.

Yesterday we saw the backlash starting. Look, I don't think Republicans are inherently evil. I've even voted for a few of them over the last 20 years. I do think the neo-cons and the ultra-conservatives overreached. And now the price will have to be paid, the policies will have to be moderated, the public will have to be appeased; because ultimately, they serve at our pleasure.

How about this time around, we don't ride the pendulum all the way to the crest and wait for the inevitable backswing? Why not go slowly, compromise with one another, engage in dialogue, and try to hit a happy medium, where everyone's rights are considered and given equal gravitas?

Posted by: Global Citizen [TypeKey Profile Page] at November 11, 2005 11:53 PM | Permalink | Edit Comment | Delete Comment

North Carolina just switched to a Democratic House and Senate, so they are trending blue, which will hopefully someday lead to progressiveism.

Posted by: chuckles [TypeKey Profile Page] at November 12, 2005 02:30 PM | Permalink | Edit Comment | Delete Comment

The 20 Redistricting Watch States where at least one chamber is within 4 seats of switching control are Oregon, Nevada, Colorado, New Mexico, Oklahoma, Texas, Mississippi, Tennessee, South Carolina, North Carolina, Virginia, West Virginia, Kentucky, Indiana, Illinois, Minnesota, Wisconsin, Michigan, New York and New Hampshire. The DLCC lists these states just as examples of how close the margins are in some key states where the legislature controls redistricting, and as we get closer to 2010 and the next redistricting, we anticipate more states will come into play.

Posted by: laurenspangler [TypeKey Profile Page] at November 14, 2005 11:01 AM | Permalink | Edit Comment | Delete Comment