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Turning statehouses red; Updated

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By Michelle Malkin  •  November 3, 2010 02:34 AM

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Great news here in Colorado and across the country, where statehouses/state legislative chambers are back in Republican hands.

Via the Republican State Leadership Committee:

Colorado Republican captured the state house early this morning. It is the 16th state legislative chamber to move into Republican hands.

NH House
NH Senate
IN House [already had senate]
PA House [already had senate]
NC House
NC Senate
AL House
AL Senate
MI House [already had senate]
OH House [already had senate]
ME Senate
IA House
WI Assembly
WI Senate
MT House

Update: Gains in Minnesota

The Republican wave washed over the Minnesota Capitol on Tuesday, shifting it from a Democratic blue to more bipartisan purple.

Republicans were making strong gains in both the House and Senate, and had a chance to retake control of the Senate after several early upsets.

Update: Massive Texas state house gains for Republicans in both chambers.

Republicans smashed their way to their biggest modern-day majority in the Texas House on Tuesday and are now very likely to draw claret-red political maps and deeply cut education and social programs next year.

The big uncertainty after the GOP in one night rolled back Democratic gains of the last three election cycles was whether Speaker Joe Straus, R-San Antonio, could withstand an infusion of new conservatives, despite his helpfulness to embattled Republican incumbents. Republicans’ 19-12 edge in the Senate remained unchanged.

“This is a great night for Texas Republicans,” Straus said at his party’s celebration in Buda.

…Whoever is speaker, next session’s redistricting maps will have a stronger GOP tilt. Also, many of the freshmen Republicans will resist raising taxes – or even fees – to help close an expected budget deficit of $25 billion. That will force more reliance on cuts.

***

Update

TO: Interested Parties

FROM: Ed Gillespie, RSLC Chairman

RE: State Level Election Results

DATE: November 3, 2010

Election Day 2010 proved to be an even bigger “wave” election at the state level than anticipated. Voters overwhelmingly repudiated liberal policies at all levels, sweeping Democrats from office. As a result, Republicans will take control of dozens of statewide, constitutional offices and switch at least 19 legislative bodies to Republican control.

1. AL House

2. AL Senate

3. CO House

4. IN House

5. IA House

6. ME House

7. ME Senate

8. MN Senate

9. MN House

10. MI House

11. MT House

12. NH House

13. NH Senate

14. NC House

15. NC Senate

16. OH House

17. PA House

18. WI Assembly

19. WI Senate

In comparison to past elections, all indications are that Republicans had more success than either party has seen in modern history. As of 8:30 a.m. ET, Republicans had gained more than 500 state legislative seats nationwide, outperforming the 472-seat Republican gains of 1994 and the 322-seat Democratic gains of 2006. Before yesterday’s elections, Democrats controlled 60 of the country’s state legislative chambers, Republicans 36. After yesterday’s elections, at this point, Democrats control 40 chambers, Republicans 55 and one evenly divided (the Oregon House).

[Note: In the Washington and New York Senate chambers, Republicans made significant gains and are awaiting results in several races that could lead to majority status. In the Iowa Senate, two seats are 13 and 38 votes away from giving the GOP the majority.]

Candidates for offices supported by the Republican State Leadership Committee (RSLC) benefited from the strong environment:

§ Republicans won 16 of 30 races for Attorney General (California outstanding) taking five (AZ, OK, GA, OH and KS) from the Democrats.

§ Republicans won 10 of 12 races for independently elected Lieutenant Governor netting three (taking AR, OK, LA and AL from the Democrats and losing California).

§ Republicans won 17 of 26 races for Secretary of State taking six (AR, OH, NM, CO, IA and KS) from the Democrats.

§ There are now 26 states where Republicans hold majorities in both legislative chambers, up from 15.

This year’s mid-term election reflected the reality that voters are fed up with Democratic policies of increased spending and higher taxes at both the federal and state levels. Republican candidates understood this frustration and capitalized on voter demand for new leadership.

This new reality will dramatically impact the states and the country as a whole, including a new direction for state legislative polices and control of the redistricting process.

STATE LEGISLATIVE POLICIES

As states encountered a recession, were faced with dwindling revenues and were forced to close budget gaps, too many opted to increase taxes rather than cut spending. Nearly half the states (24) increased taxes in 2009. As states enter new legislative sessions, led by new Republican majorities – along with many new Republican Governors – citizens can expect to see budget proposals that reflect the belief that government should cut spending to balance budgets rather than impose higher taxes on its constituents.

In addition, the health care battle that began in Washington and encroached onto the states will warrant a second look through a lens that takes into account the new Republican leadership. At present, at least 20 attorneys general have brought suit challenging the federal health care overreach. At least 40 state legislatures have implemented or are considering legislation to alter, restrain or fully oppose aspects of the federal legislation.

REDISTRICTING

Throughout this cycle, there has been intense examination of how a shift in the state legislative landscape will affect the post-census redistricting process. Of the 18 states that will gain or lose seats, Republicans hold majorities in 10 states. Two of the states are redrawn through a non-partisan process. The New York Senate remains too close to call.

In the 70 congressional districts that were labeled by National Public Radio as “competitive” in 2010, Republicans now control the redrawing of at least 40 of those districts (winning the New York Senate would make it 47); Democrats are responsible for 15 and a non-partisan process determines 8.

The bottom line is that Republicans will have a much greater impact on the redistricting process as a result of yesterday’s elections.

CONCLUSION

The Republican State Leadership Committee raised more than $30 million this cycle to help elect Republicans to the offices of Attorney General, Lieutenant Governor, Secretary of State and State Legislator.

As we enter a time with huge policy and political implications, new Republican officeholders will be given an opportunity to demonstrate common-sense conservative leadership and implement solutions that promise real results and positive change for voters.

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