Down Ballot

In preparation for the 2014 election year, I’ve been writing weekly columns for TPMCafe summarizing what we know–or ought to know–about the lay of the land. This week’s installment focuses on state elections, and the unfortunate fact that a lot of incumbent GOP governors and legislators will be protected from accountability for their misdeeds by the turnout patterns and straight-ticket voting of a non-presidential year.

It finally occurred to me while writing this column that the GOP turnout advantage in non-presidential years, if it persists, will also mean a GOP advantage in state governments overall, since the bulk of gubernatorial (and a majority of state legislative) elections occur in midterm or offyear elections.

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

Ed Kilgore

Ed Kilgore is a political columnist for New York and managing editor at the Democratic Strategist website. He was a contributing writer at the Washington Monthly from January 2012 until November 2015, and was the principal contributor to the Political Animal blog.