by NW Spotlight
As an analysis in the Washington Times noted on Sunday, “Republicans smashed the Democrats in the 2014 midterms.” Republicans have won control of the U.S. Senate, and so will now control both chambers of Congress. They increased their control in the U.S. House. But the picture for Republicans also improved in 2014 at the state level. As the Washington Post reported back in November “Americans delivered stunning blows to Democratic candidates in statewide races across the country.”
U.S. Senate – Before the election, there were 55 U.S. Senators in the Democratic caucus, and 45 Republicans. After the November 2014 election, Republicans will now outnumber the Democrats 54 to 44, a net pickup of 9 seats. Now Harry Reid is going to have to live on the other side of HIS anti-filibuster “nuclear option.”
U.S. House – The day after the election, CNN projected the GOP would have “at least 246 seats, its largest majority since World War II.” Before the November election, Republicans held 233 seats in the House and Democrats held 199. USA Today results show that Republicans picked up an additional 14 seats – increasing their lead in the House to 247 to 188.
Governors – Republicans went from having 8 more governors than Democrats to having 13 more governors. USA Today reported “Republicans held the edge in governorships nationally going into [November’s] election, 29 to 21.” In the November election, Republicans took the governorship away from Democrats in Arkansas, Illinois, Maryland and Massachusetts – and Democrats took one GOP governorship, in Pennsylvania. In Alaska, Republicans lost a governorship to an independent candidate. After the elections, Republicans had increased their edge: 31 GOP to 17 Dem governorships. The Vermont election for governor will go to the Legislature this month. Neither candidate got more than 50% of the vote, but the Democratic incumbent leads by more than 2,400 votes over the Republican challenger. A Vermont newspaper reports that “Democrats are confident that Democratic legislators — who still hold solid majorities in the House and Senate… will choose [the Democratic incumbent].” That will likely change the GOP edge to 31 to 18, with one state now having and independent governor (Alaska).
State legislatures – According to Real Clear Politics, 2/3 of state legislative chambers are now in GOP control: “The GOP now controls 68 out of 98 partisan state legislative chambers — the highest number in the history of the party.” Nebraska’s Legislature is unicameral (only one chamber) and nonpartisan. That’s a pickup of 10 chambers for the GOP – prior to the November 2014 elections, Republicans controlled 58 out of 98 partisan state legislative chambers. IJReview has a nice map showing control of state legislatures. Governing reported back on Nov 5 that “According to the National Conference of State Legislatures, the Democrats were looking at reaching at their lowest point in state-legislature control in nearly a century. For the sake of comparison, as recently as the run-up to the 2010 election, the Democrats held a 62 to 36 advantage in legislative chambers.”
Complete state control – Per the Washington Times analysis, “In 24 states, [Republicans] hold the governorship and both houses of the legislature; Democrats have that level of control in just 7 states.” Oregon, of course, is one of those seven. But in spite of the “left coast,” almost half of the states will now be completely run by Republican governors and legislatures.
2016 Presidential field – the Washington Times analysis notes that “Republicans have a deep bench for 2016; Democrats have, at best, two.” The two Democrats: “Hillary Rodham Clinton, who got crushed last time by a first-term senator no one had ever heard of, and Sen. Elizabeth Warren, a one-dimensional politician who has repeatedly said she does not plan to run in 2016.” On the GOP bench: “Bill Kristol, the editor of the Weekly Standard, counts some 26 potential candidates: ‘John Bolton, Jeb Bush, Ben Carson, Chris Christie, Ted Cruz, Carly Fiorina, Lindsey Graham, Mike Huckabee, Bobby Jindal, John Kasich, Pete King, Mike Pence, Rick Perry, Mitt Romney, Marco Rubio, Paul Ryan, Rick Santorum, Joe Scarborough, Scott Walker, and Allen West … Dick Cheney, Tom Cotton, Mitch Daniels, Joni Ernst, Newt Gingrich, and Rudy Giuliani.'” The Times notes that Kristol missed a few “Nikki Haley, Brian Sandoval, Susana Martinez. And of course Rand Paul.”