17 November 2018

Blue Zones After The Midterms

Economic Clout

Blue America is much more economic productive and successful than Red America. The seats won by Democrats have about 54 percent of the U.S. population (the Democratic party share of the popular vote in House of Representatives elections is significantly greater). But, they are home to a far larger share of the U.S. economy.
With a few races still undecided, districts won by Democrats account for 61 percent of America's gross domestic product, districts won by Republicans 38 percent. 
That economic separation underpins cultural divisions that usually command more attention. Says Brookings researcher Mark Muro: "The Democratic Party and Republican Party, at this point, really do occupy different economic worlds and represent different economic worlds."

Analysis by the Brookings Metropolitan Policy Program documents the gap between them. Residents of districts won by Democrats generate 22% more output per worker, and have a 15% higher median household income.
From here.

State Government Control

Democrats control 18 state legislatures. Republicans control 31 state legislatures, and one (Minnesota) is split between the Democratic party controlled state house and a Republican controlled state senate.

Democrats now hold the governorship and both houses of the state legislature in Hawaii, Washington State, Oregon, California, Nevada, Colorado, New Mexico, Illinois, Delaware, New Jersey, New York, Connecticut, Rhode Island, and Maine (14 states) (the New England and Pacific States discussed below are in bold).

There are Republican governors, but Democrats hold both houses of the state legislature in Maryland, Massachusetts, Vermont and New Hampshire (4 states).

Minnesota's Governor is a Democrat. Minnesota's state house is controlled by the Democrats, but its state senate is controlled by the Republicans. Minnesota is now the only bicameral state legislature in the U.S. with divided partisan control. Before the 2018 election, the 67 seat Minnesota State Senate has 33 Democrats, 33 Republicans and 1 vacancy, and all of them were up for election this year.

Republicans now hold the governorship and both houses of the state legislature in Alaska, Idaho, Utah, Arizona, Wyoming, North Dakota, South Dakota, Nebraska (unicameral legislature), Oklahoma, Texas, Iowa, Missouri, Arkansas, Indiana, Ohio, Kentucky, West Virginia, Tennessee, Mississippi, Alabama, Georgia, South Carolina and Florida (23 states).

There are Democratic governors, but Republicans hold both Houses of the state legislature in Montana, Kansas, Louisiana, Wyoming, Michigan, North Carolina, Virginia, Pennsylvania (8 states).

Democrats also control the districtwide elective offices (Mayor and Attorney General) and the City Council (thirteen seats) in the District of Columbia, although the posts are formally non-partisan.

New England

The six New England has 33 of the 535 seats in Congress, 11 of 12 U.S. Senate seats and all twenty-one U.S. House seats are held by Democrats. Just one of these seats is held by a Republican, and Senator Susan Collins of Maine (who wasn't up for election this year) is pretty much the sole Republican left in the Senate who can pass for being a "moderate".

Every single house of every single state legislature in New England is controlled by the Democrats. Three of the six Governors in New England are Democrats and three are Republicans who are moderate by national Republican party standards.

Rank choice voting helped flip the last GOP controlled House seat in New England, Maine's second Congressional District, this year - the Republican would have won more first choice votes, but when the second choices of the 8% of voters who chose as third-party candidate were considered, the Democrat won a narrow majority of the vote.

Pacific States

Hawaii, Washington State, Oregon and California and Nevada are a block of blue states (Alaska, while it could be considered a Pacific state, clusters with the mountain states in the Great Basin in most respects). All ten state legislative houses in these states are controlled by Democrats, and all five of their Governors are Democrats. In Hawaii and California, the Democrats have supermajorities and in the other states they are close to supermajorities.

All 10 of the U.S. Senators in these five states are Democrats. Of the 74 members of the U.S. House from these five states, 61 are Democrats and 13 are Republicans. Overall, only 13 of the 84 legislators representing these five states in Congress are Republicans.

* Nevada Both U.S. Senators from Nevada and three of its four members of the U.S. House of Representatives are Democrats, while it has one member of the U.S. House of Representatives (representing Northern Nevada including Reno) is a Republican.

The Governor of Nevada and both houses of its legislature are controlled by Democrats. The 42 seats in the state house are now divided into 29 Democrats and 13 Republicans.

This year the 11 contested state senate seats were split 6 to Democrats and 5 to Republicans, so there are 13 Democrats and 8 Republicans in the state senateBefore the election, Democrats held 10 seats to eight for the Republicans, with one seat held by an independent and two vacancies.

California The Republican party in California is in a shambles. Republicans holds just 39 of 182 state and federal level elected non-judicial offices (21.4%) in California.

In California, both U.S. Senate seats and 45 out of 53 U.S. House seats are now held by Democrats. Republicans lost five of thirteen seats in the House that they held before the election (including every single House seat in historically conservative Orange County). One of those Representatives (Duncan Hunter in suburban San Diego) was reelected with 53% of the vote, despite the fact that he has been indicted for a felony. Another one of those Republicans, David Valadao in CA-21 on the western fringe of California's "red zone" near Fresno, won with just 51% of the vote. Six of the eight House seats held by Republicans are eastern California, mostly east of the Sierra Nevada Mountains, while two are in San Diego suburbs.

All seven state level statewide elected officials in California (the Governor, Lieutenant Governor, Attorney General, State Controller, State Treasurer, Insurance Commissioner, State Superintendent of Public Instruction) are Democrats.

Democrats have supermajorities in both houses of the California legislature. In the California State Assembly, Democrats won 60 of 80 seats (including three close races where Democrats are leading Districts 16, 38 and 60) gaining seven seats, while Republicans won 20 seats (all incumbents); a super-majority in the California Assembly is 54 seats. In the California State Senate, Democrats hold 29 of 40 seats while Republicans have 11 seats; a super-majority in the California Senate is 27 seats. This year Democrats won 13 of 20 seats that were contested, gaining two seats, while Republicans won 7 (including 3 open seats). Republicans hold just 31 of 120 state legislative seats in California.

Oregon In Oregon, four of the five U.S. House seats are held by Democrats (the only Republican seat is east of the Sierra Nevada mountains), as are both of its U.S. Senate seats.

Oregon's Governor is a Democrat. Democrats hold 38 of 60 seats in the Oregon State House. Democrats won 11 of 17 Oregon State Senate races this year (9 Democratic winners and all 6 Republican winners were incumbents, 2 Democrats won in open seats, one of which was uncontested). Before the election, Democrats controlled the State Senate 17-13. Now, the split is 19-11. In both cases, Democrats control just short of two-thirds of the houses of the state legislature.

Washington State In Washington State, both U.S. Senators and seven of ten U.S. House members are Democrats. Two of the seats are in eastern Washington. One is south of Seattle and south of Olympia around Vancouver, Washington, and was closer (the Republican won with less than 53% of the vote).

Washington State's Governor is a Democrat. Democrats control both the Washington State House and the Washington State Senate. In the 98 seat state house, it looks like the partisan split will be 57 Democrats to 41 Republicans; before the election the split was 50 Democrats and 48 Republicans, so Democrats picked up 7 seats. Democrats won 16 of the 25 (out of 49) state senate seats contested this year while Republicans won 9 of them, a gain of two seats in the state senate. Before the election, Democrats has 26 state senate seats and Republicans had 23. After the election Democrats will hold 28 while Republicans will hold 21 seats in the state senate.

Hawaii. There is no U.S. state where the Democratic party is more dominant than Hawaii. Only 5 of the 81 significant state and federal elected officials in the state are Republicans.

In Hawaii, both U.S. Senators and both members of the U.S. House of Representatives are Democrats. None of the three Democrats running for federal office this year in Hawaii received less than 71% of the vote.

The Governor is a Democrat. Democrats won seven of eight contested state senate seats and five uncontested seats, while Republicans won one seat (with 51% of the vote). Going into the election all 25 seats in the Hawaii state senate were controlled by Democrats, so now the  partisan balance in the Hawaii state senate is 24-1, a loss of one Democratic seat. Going into the election, there were 45 Democrats and 6 Republicans in the state house. This year, Democrats won 32 uncontested seats and 15 contested seats, while Republicans won 4 contested seats, a gain of two seats for the Democrats.


The states not mentioned above where Democrats control both houses of the state legislature are Colorado, New Mexico, Illinois, Delaware, New Jersey, New York, and Maryland. Two are in the Mountain West, one is in the Midwest, and four are in the Mid-Atlantic. Democrats control one house of the legislature, the Governorship and are on seat short of state senate control in Minnesota, which also in the Midwest 

Minnesota Both of Minnesota's U.S. Senators are Democrats (strictly speaking Democrat-Farm-Labor) as are five of its eight U.S. House members (one of whom, Jim Hagedorn in MN-1 won with less than 51% of the vote).

Minnesota's Governor is a Democrat, as is the Attorney General, the Secretary of State and the State Auditor.

There are 134 seats in the Minnesota State House and 67 seats in the Minnesota State Senate, all of which were up for election this year. There are exactly two state house districts in each state senate district. Democrats now control the State House 74-59 with one race still too close to call (in District 5A in Hackensack, Democrat Persell lead Republican Bliss by eight votes); a majority is 68 seats. Republicans now control the State Senate 34-33 with the barest majority.

Before the 2018 election, Republicans held 77 seats in the state house, while Democrats held 57 seats (losing a net 18 seats in this year's midterms), and in the Minnesota state senate, there were 33 Democrats and 33 Republicans with 1 formerly Republican seat vacant, so Democrats made no net gains in the state senate. It is a bit odd that there was an eighteen seat swing in one house of the state legislature while no change in the other, in the same year.

* Colorado Colorado has historically been a "purple state" where both political parties are competitive but is leaning blue. One of Colorado's two U.S. Senators and four of its seven U.S. House seats (District 1, 2, 6 and 7). Colorado has supported Democratic Presidential candidates in the last three Presidential elections (Hillary Clinton in 2016, and Barack Obama in 2012 and 2008).

Democrats hold all five of Colorado's statewide elected executive branch officials (Governor, Lieutenant Governor, Attorney General, Secretary of State and State Treasurer), and four of the seven state school board members in Colorado are Democrats (matching the partisan lineup of Colorado's Congressional Districts). Democrats have majorities (but not supermajorities) in both the State Senate and State House. 

But five of nine of the CU Regents are Republicans (each party has one CU Regent at large, the seven Congressional District Representatives match the partisan lineup of Colorado's Congressional District, except that a Republican holds the 6th CU-Regent district seat which wasn't up for election this year and which will next be before voters in 2020).

The only Republicans holding statewide elective office in Colorado at this point are U.S. Senator Cory Gardner and and Heidi Ganahl, C.U. Regent at Large (who didn't face elections this year; Gardner next faces voters in 2020, Ganahl faces voters next in 2022).


Dave Barnes said...

Heidi Ganahl will be toast.
No voter even knows the candidates for this position.
Voting will be strongly (99%) influenced by party ID.

andrew said...

I think that Gardner will be defeated by a Democrat, that Colorado will support the Democratic candidate for President (assuming that Trump runs for re-election), and that the 6th C.D. CU-Regent seat will flip in 2020 (given Democrats control of the CU-Regents). Because, while the demographic trends nationwide aren't as profound as they are given credit for being, the Colorado demographic trends are only going to shift it more blue over the next two years.