Tuesday, January 7, 2014

Three-Quarters of States Now Under Single-Party Control

Three-quarters of the states, more than at any time in recent memory, are now governed by one party, either Republican or Democrat, according to a new report in The Washington Post. And the 37 single-party states are now moving in opposite directions based on their differing party ideologies, the Post reports. The 23 Republican-run states, where the GOP holds the governorship and has majorities in both legislative chambers, are championing economic and fiscal strategies of lower taxes, spending cuts and less regulation. Many have declined to set up state health-insurance exchanges to implement the Affordable Care Act. The "Red States" are also clashing with unions and pushing a conservative social agenda to restrict abortion or enact voter-identification laws. Meanwhile, the Democrats have full control of 14 states, and while budget squeezes have them embracing budget cuts, too, many Democrat-run states have also raised taxes to pay for education and infrastructure. These "Blue States" generally back the Affordable Care Act and are moving on a liberal social agenda, including legalizing same sex marriages and easing access to voting. That leaves 12 states where power is divided between Republican and Democrat forces, plus Nebraska (which has a nonpartisan unicameral legislature and a Republican governor). On the question of which party's approach generates the best results for a state, the data is inconclusive, but single-party control does have one clear value: Political consensus is allowing the single-party state governments to avoid the gridlock, bickering and inaction of the divided national government. For more, see the Washington Post article at http://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/red-blue-states-move-in-opposite-directions-in-a-new-era-of-single-party-control/2013/12/28/9583d922-673a-11e3-ae56-22de072140a2_story.html

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