2010 started with a Republican Senate seat in true-blue Massachusetts, Democrats first such defeat in decades. On Nov. 2, Republicans gained six more Senate seats and a whopping 63 House seats, the worst midterm House losses since 1938. The damaging 2010 federal election results were nothing compared to what happened later when Democrats got their political clocks cleaned by aggressive state Republicans.
Obama was more interested in his own reelection and fundraising. After 417 weeks in office, he’d held 416 fundraisers. Under Obama, Democrats lost upwards of 1,000 legislative seats along with control of chamber after chamber, plus numerous governors’ offices. In 2010 alone, the GOP captured control of 24 state legislative chambers, twice the historical average.
The GOP got to pursue popular conservative agendas in state after state with little fear of gridlock or veto. Additionally, state legislatures and governors’ chairs are the farm teams of federal politics where up-and-comers practice their trade and build statewide name recognition that secures future election victories. Those GOP successes erased much of a generation of future federal Democrats.
However, from a long-term perspective, the Obama wounds handed state Republicans widespread control of legislative redistricting stemming from the 2
010 Census, setting them up for enduring election successes.
Last fall, Democrats got back the U.S. House. But despite a perceived national wave of anti-Trump sentiment, they only regained six state legislative chambers, half the historical average, while Republicans took one.
Today, the GOP still controls both legislative chambers in 30 states, Dems in 19. ….. the first time in 105 years that every state with two legislative chambers but one (Minnesota) is totally controlled by a single party…..a revealing indicator of the sharp partisan distinctions gripping the land…..the battle-grid for state elections, which determine who redraws state-level districts according to census results.
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