Political Party Strength in U.S. States

Political Party Strength In U.S. States

Throughout most of the 20th century, although the Republican and Democratic parties alternated in power at a national level, some states were so overwhelmingly dominated by one party that nomination was usually tantamount to election. This was especially true in the Solid South, where the Republican Party was virtually nonexistent for the best part of a century, from the end of Reconstruction in the late 1870s to the 1960s. Conversely, the New England states of Vermont, Maine, and New Hampshire were Republican bastions, as were some Midwestern states like Iowa and North Dakota.

However, in the 1970s and 1980s, the increasingly conservative Republican Party gradually overtook the Democrats in the southeast. The Democrats' support in the formerly Solid South had been eroded during the vast cultural, political and economic upheaval that surrounded the 1960s. By the 1990s the Republican Party had completed the transition into the southeast's dominant political party, despite typically having fewer members due to the prevalence of Republican voting generational Democrats. In New England, the opposite trend took place; the former Republican strongholds of Maine and Vermont became solidly Democrat, as did formerly Republican areas of New Jersey, New York, and other states.

Currently, the majority of the overall number of seats held in the state legislatures has been switching between the two parties every few years. As of the U.S. gubernatorial elections of 2010, the Republican party holds an outright majority of approximately 440 with 3,890 seats (53% of total) compared to the Democrat party's number of 3,450 (47% of total) seats elected on a partisan ballot. Of the 7,382 seats in all of the state legislatures combined, independents and third parties account for only 15 members, not counting the 49 members of the Nebraska Legislature, which is the only legislature in the nation to hold non-partisan elections to determine its members. Due to the results of the 2010 elections, Republicans took control of an additional 19 state legislative chambers, giving them majority control of both chambers in 25 states versus the Democrats' majority control of both chambers in only 16 states, with 8 states having split or inconclusive control of both chambers (not including Nebraska); previous to the 2010 elections, it was Democrats who controlled both chambers in 27 states versus the Republican party having total control in only 14 states, with eight states divided and Nebraska being nonpartisan.

Read more about Political Party Strength In U.S. States:  Demographics, Historical Party Strength

Famous quotes containing the words political party, states, strength, party and/or political:

    No political party can ever make prohibition effective. A political party implies an adverse, an opposing, political party. To enforce criminal statutes implies substantial unanimity in the community. This is the result of the jury system. Hence the futility of party prohibition.
    Rutherford Birchard Hayes (1822–1893)

    Mr. Christian, it is about time for many people to begin to come to the White House to discuss different phases of the coal strike. When anybody comes, if his special problem concerns the state, refer him to the governor of Pennsylvania. If his problem has a national phase, refer him to the United States Coal Commission. In no event bring him to me.
    Calvin Coolidge (1872–1933)

    Women have seldom sufficient employment to silence their feelings; a round of little cares, or vain pursuits frittering away all strength of mind and organs, they become naturally only objects of sense.
    Mary Wollstonecraft (1759–1797)

    Political correctness is the natural continuum from the party line. What we are seeing once again is a self-appointed group of vigilantes imposing their views on others. It is a heritage of communism, but they don’t seem to see this.
    Doris Lessing (b. 1919)

    It has been years since I have seen anyone who could even look as if he were in love. No one’s face lights up any more except for political conversation.
    Margaret Anderson (1886–1973)