Aaron Blake, writer for the Washington Post, points out that the results of last Tuesday’s election portend a much brighter future for Republicans than many had assumed. He notes that more than two-thirds of state legislatures across the nation will be controlled by the GOP, a factor that may prove as important as the 7-seat gain in the Senate and the biggest advantage in the House in the last century.
With 31 governorships in hand, the GOP controls the state government in 24 states and may soon control Alaska if it wins a tight election there. The Democrats only control six states, with a possible seventh if Gov. Peter Shumlin (D) wins in Vermont. After the 2010 election, the GOP only controlled 21 states and the Democrats 11. Now it will be GOP 24, Democrats 6.
Blake estimates that 47.8% of Americans will live under GOP-controlled governments; if Gov. Sean Parnell (R) is reelected in Alaska, it will top 48%. Only 15.6% of Americans will live in states controlled by Democrats; if California is deleted from that picture, only 3.5% live in Democrat-controlled states.
The unforeseen gubernatorial victories in Massachusetts, Maryland, and Illinois were an astonishing gain for the GOP and, according to Blake, “basically assured that Democrats would have very little influence over state governments across the United States.” The Dems have an empty bench.