Thursday, July 22, 2010

More on state legislative elections at midterm

Arrr... Tim Storey be stealin' me thunder.  Over at Sabato's Crystal Ball, Storey suggests some ominous signs for Democrats who are trying to hold onto state legislatures across the country this fall.  He produces a nice graph (below), going back much further than I did, basically showing that the president's party never gains state legislative seats in midterm elections.*  The only two exceptions were 1934 (huge economic growth in the middle of the Depression) and 2002 (following the 9/11 boost for Bush and Republicans).
Storey doesn't really venture a forecast at this point, except to note that there are several large states, including New York, Ohio, and Pennsylvania, with legislatures that could easily flip to Republican control, and this would affect congressional redistricting in a big way.

*For some reason, using Klarner's data, I find that Democrats gained 10 state legislative seats in 1998, while Storey finds them losing a handful.  Can anyone explain this discrepancy?

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Well, the NY Senate might flip back to Republican control instead of Democratic... sort of control... sometimes. But the Assembly has more than a 2 to 1 majority of Democrats and will not be flipping-R for circumstances less severe than Ragnarok.

The worst case in NY for Democrats is just losing the opportunity to take full control of the process, and at the House level the most they could do is drum out the last 2 Republicans. And, I dunno, drawing districts to keep King out might be hard.