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Defying the Odds

Defying the Odds
New book about the 2016 election.

Thursday, October 11, 2018

GOP Control


At WP, Aaron Blake notes that Kavanaugh's confirmation solidifies the GOP hold on the Supreme Court, which in turn bolsters the party's historic grip on American government.
Republicans control 33 out of 50 governor’s seats, which is just one shy of the record set briefly last year. That happened after West Virginia’s Jim Justice switched to the GOP but before Republicans lost in New Jersey. Before the last few years, the GOP had never held more than 32 seats.
The GOP also holds complete control of the governor’s seat and the state legislature in 25 states (compared to eight for Democrats). That’s also just one off the record, set briefly last year for the same reasons as above. Before this decade, the GOP had never held more than two dozen.
The GOP controlled 4,104 out of 7,383 state legislative seats as of July, which was just a few dozen seats off its record, also set in recent years.
In Washington, the GOP’s House majority currently includes 235 seats, but it stood at 241 before some election-year resignations. That was just five seats off the post-World War II high of 246, set in the late 1940s and matched early this decade.
Republicans' narrow 51-49 Senate majority is not, of course, near a record. But when you combine it with the GOP’s control of the House and the presidency, it gave the GOP unified control of policymaking in Washington for just the fourth Congress since the Great Depression.
And that’s the point here. Any one of these numbers may not be a record, but the GOP has not had such a favorable overall picture, across all these levers of power at the same time since at least the 1930 election, when the Depression swept Democrats into power. At the end of the 1920s, Republicans controlled the presidency, 267 House seats, 56 Senate seats (out of 96 overall at the time) and 29 out of 48 governorships.
 At State Legislatures,Tim Storey and Wendy Underhill write:
Going into the election, Republicans rule the legislative roost, with 4,107 of the nation’s 7,383 legislators from the GOP. That means 56 percent of legislators and 66 percent of legislative chambers (65 of 98) are Republican. (Nebraska is excluded from the tally because its members are elected to only one chamber on a nonpartisan basis.) Democrats control 31. Two chambers have tied membership, the Connecticut and Minnesota senates.
In terms of total legislative control—when a single party holds both chambers—Republicans outnumber Democrats 31 to 14, with four states split: Connecticut and Minnesota because of tied senates, and Colorado and Maine, where Republicans control the senates and Democrats have the houses