State Legislatures and 2014

Most of the midterm attention seems to be on control of the United States Senate, with some attention on key gubernatorial races like Florida and Wisconsin, and with a smidgen of notion to the size of the Republican House majority after 2014.  Most pundits see Republicans padding that current majority by some seats. There is another level to the 2014 midterm that passes almost completely under the political radar:  control of state legislatures.  Twenty years ago, in the 1994 midterms, Republicans made dramatic gains in state legislatures – a vital part of our constitutional system, which had been utterly dominated by Democrats for a century. How weak had Republicans been in state legislatures? Consider these data.  After the 1980 Reagan landslide, Democrats held 74 of the 98 partisan state legislative chambers.  After the 1984 Reagan landslide, in which Democrats carried only one state, Democrats held 67 out of the 98 chambers.  After...(Read Full Article)