The great, untold story of the 2010 midterm elections took place in the states. The extent of Republican gains in governorships and state legislatures, as the political tsunami washed over the country, is simply mind blowing.
Republicans took governorships in Ohio, Wisconsin, Pennsylvania, New Mexico, and a number of other states. The governorship of Texas was held handily. Republicans will also likely hold onto the governorship of Florida when the vote tally is counted.
Democrats took the governorships of California and New York, two states with massive budget problems. Jerry Brown, the governor-elect of California, a retread from the 1970s, and Andrew Cuomo, the governor-elect of New York and son of Mario Cuomo, a previous governor, seem ill-equipped to enact the deep spending cuts necessary to balance the books in their states.
The joke is that Democratic victories in California and New York mean that those states will likely need a federal bailout and that Republican victories in Congress mean they are not likely to get it.
Erick Erickson at Red State suggests that the big story of 2010 happened in the down ballot races:
“There will be 18 states subject to reapportionment. The Republicans will control a majority of those – at least ten and maybe a dozen or more. More significantly, a minimum of seventeen state legislative houses have flipped to the Republican Party.
“The North Carolina Legislature is Republican for the first time since 1870. Yes, that is Eighteen Seventy.
“The Alabama Legislature is Republican for the first time since 1876.
“For those saying this is nothing because it is the South, consider these:
“The entire Wisconsin and New Hampshire legislatures have flipped to the GOP by wide margins.
“The State Houses in Indiana, Pennsylvania, Michigan, Ohio, Iowa, Montana, and Colorado flipped to the GOP.
“The Maine and Minnesota Senates flipped to the GOP.
“The Texas and Tennessee Houses went from virtually tied to massive Republican gains. The gains in Texas were so big that the Republicans no longer need the Democrats to get state constitutional amendments out of the state legislature.”
As Erickson suggests, the control of a number of states by the Republican Party has great implications for reapportionment, called for by the 2010 Census. Republican-controlled state governments will be able to redraw congressional districts to suit the GOP, cementing control of the United States House for the next 10 years.
Incidentally, the passage of Proposition 20 in California means that politicians in that state will no longer draw up congressional districts in that state. The task will be done by a bipartisan citizen’s commission.
Republican control of a number of states will also mean that those states will become laboratories of democracy, where innovative solutions to public problems will be enacted and tried. Those that succeed will eventually be enacted, it is hoped, on the federal level.
Those solutions will also serve as an example to the citizens of California and New York of what they can have should they choose to stop electing crazy, liberal governments. Eventually, even the most stubborn liberals are going to tire of high taxes and crazy regulations.
Sources: 2010 Results – Governor, Politico
The Morning Briefing: The Tsunami, Erick Erickson, Red State, November 3rd, 2010
Voters spoke on redistricting, and Dems don’t like message, Dan Walters, Sacramento Bee, November 3rd, 2010