Local Races

LOCAL RACES….Over at Preemptive Karma, Carla has some good news for Democrats: they may have gotten beaten at the national level this year, but they took back control of the Oregon Senate, and they did it by winning in some pretty conservative areas.

A fluke? Apparently not. Kos points to a Wall Street Journal article by John Fund suggesting that this wasn’t an isolated case:

Of the country’s 99 state legislative chambers, the GOP lost control of six and won only four from the Democrats. Republicans have apparently gone from having complete control of both chambers in 21 states to only dominating 17 states. Most of the GOP pickups involve the slow dissolution of Democratic dominance in the South. In Georgia, Tennessee and Oklahoma the Republicans will now control the state House for the first time in decades, or in the case of Georgia since Sherman’s march to the sea in 1864.

But Republicans also lost ground in some traditional strongholds. Democrats now control both houses of the Colorado legislature for the first time since the 1950s. They also failed to win any seats at all in California, despite the campaigning and fundraising prowess of Arnold Schwarzenegger. In Hawaii, that state’s popular GOP governor, Linda Lingle, saw the voters ignore her appeals for a more cooperative legislature as unions picked off several Republican incumbents.

Bottom line: the Republican party continues to cement its hold on the South, but elsewhere in the country they are losing ground, not gaining it. And it’s worth remembering that the Republican revolution itself got its start by winning local races, only later translating that into national gains.

What’s good for the goose….

Washington Monthly - Donate today and your gift will be doubled!

Support Nonprofit Journalism

If you enjoyed this article, consider making a donation to help us produce more like it. The Washington Monthly was founded in 1969 to tell the stories of how government really works—and how to make it work better. Fifty years later, the need for incisive analysis and new, progressive policy ideas is clearer than ever. As a nonprofit, we rely on support from readers like you.

Yes, I’ll make a donation