Republicans Make Historic Gains in State Government
Despite pundits predictions of a “blue wave,” Republicans managed to flip fourteen Congressional seats red, leaving Democrats with their slimmest majority in the House of Representatives since the nineteenth century.
— Bruce Mehlman (@bpmehlman) November 27, 2020
Republicans also have a solid chance at holding the Senate.
Meanwhile, Republicans made under-reported gains at the state level too.
Newt Gingrich read the score in his recent column at Newsweek:
Republicans now have a majority in both houses of 31 state legislatures and hold the state senate in Minnesota. Minnesota is the only state with split control of the legislature and is a good example of the frustration Democrats are feeling after their blue wave evaporated.
The Democrats have legislative control in only 18 states.
Furthermore, Republicans control the legislatures and governorships in 23 states, with roughly 136 million citizens. By contrast the Democrats only control the legislature and governorships in 15 states with 120 million people (more than 39 million of them in California). Republicans control the legislature in seven states with Democratic governors, while Democrats only control the legislature in three states with Republican governors.
Last month Republicans flipped both legislative bodiies in New Hampshire, and the Montana Governorship, giving the GOP unified control in two new states.
Blue states currently lead the nation in unemployment with unemployment rates 30% higher than red States. In the era of lockdowns and onerous coronavirus restrictions, good leadership at the state and local level is proving more important than ever.
Prior research has already shown that Republican controlled states tend to be in better fiscal shape than their Democrat counterparts. According to a study from Truth in Accounting on the fiscal health of the states in 2020, the five most indebted states and their unfunded liabilities per taxpayer were:
- New Jersey: -$57,900
- Illinois: -52,000
- Connecticut -50,700
- Hawaii -31,700
- Massachusetts -30,100
All five states are solidly blue in presidential elections, and all have Democrat governors except Massachusetts. Democrats control both chambers of Congress in all five states’ legislatures.
Democrats enjoy supermajorities (defined as over 2/3rd of all seats) in the Massachusetts House and Senate, and Hawaii’s House and Senate (which only has a single Republican).
Meanwhile the five states in the best fiscal shape had a surplus per taxpayer. They are:
- Alaska: $77,400
- North Dakota: $37,700
- Wyoming: $19,600
- Utah: $5,500
- Tennessee: $3,400
All five states in the best fiscal shape are solidly red in presidential elections and all have Republican governors. Republicans have a slim majority in Alaska’s House and Senate, but have supermajorities in both chambers in North Dakota, Tennessee, Utah, and Wyoming.
A certain pattern is noticeable here.