Everyone knows there’s a huge difference between presidential and midterm election cycles — but not everyone knows how big a difference. Presidential election cycles are starting to resemble episodes of American Idol — what season, I have no idea.
The midterm election cycles are where those who understand legislative process and policy rise to the top — and why in the last midterm cycle of 2014 the Democrats pulled out all the stops to monger fear, coerce, and intimidate their way into a victory. They failed, but the question is just how bad have the Democrats failed under President Obama in the crucial midterm elections in a comparative analysis?
As reported by the Washington Post, “Everyone knows by now that 2010 and 2014 were very good to the Republican Party. What they don’t understand (or understand well enough) is just how good. Yes, Republicans now control the Senate and have their largest majority in the House since World War II.”
“But it’s downballot (way downballot) where the depth of the Republican victories over the past three elections truly reveal themselves — and where the impact will be felt over the long term. In the past three elections, Republicans have gained 913 state legislative seats, according to calculations made by Larry Sabato at the University of Virginia. Here are Sabato’s figures in chart form — and with historical comparisons — via GOP lobbyist Bruce Mehlman.”
The Post further asserts, “Now, there are more 7,000 state legislative seats in the country, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures, which makes that 913 number slightly less eye-popping. Still, the Democratic losses between 2010 and 2014 amount to 12 percent of all state legislative seats nationwide. As NCSL notes, Republicans now control more than 4,100 seats — their highest number since 1920. After taking over 11 legislative chambers from Democrats in 2014, Republicans now control 30 state legislatures completely — and have full control of state government (state legislature and governorship) in 23 states. Democrats, by contrast, have full control of 11 state legislatures and total control of state government in just seven states.”
This also relates to the story we reported on the recent Gallup Poll, which showed only 24 percent of Americans identify themselves as liberal. Of course control of these state legislatures still doesn’t reflect a critical statistic — liberal progressive control of major urban population centers.
In any event, the seismic shift in this chart shows that the policies of President Obama are horrifically unpopular — and his own 2009 chart-topping popularity is waning. The data also reflects how toxic it has been for Democrats across the country associated with Barack Obama and his policies. As a matter of fact, nearly 50% of the Senators who voted for the Affordable Care Act have been retired (2010-2014).
Regardless of what happens in Washington DC, we the people still have power at the state level, which is why these midterm election results are so important.
As the Post points out:
1. Policy is made at the state legislative level.
2. State legislatures and governors redraw congressional lines, and the next redistricting is in 2020 — but trust me that’s no guarantee if you don’t play the good ol’ boy game.
3. State legislatures are the minor leagues – it’s where the next generation is groomed, as we saw in the case of Obama.
But here’s the secret weapon: the Convention of States (COS) movement needs 34 state legislatures to present an amendment to the Constitution for approval. At 38 states, well, guess what? States don’t need Congressional approval for a Constitutional Amendment. Right now the GOP controls 30 state legislatures – that’s why it matters. Who needs impeachment when you have the power to amend the Constitution? With enough states, we’d have the power to stop another tyrannical power grab.
Therefore, I do support the Article V Convention of States, because the federal government just doesn’t seem serious about fiscal responsibility — or national security, or the treatment of our veterans for that matter. Sure, we all paid attention to the 2014 House and Senate races — but something happened on the road to Utopia — the contest for state legislatures was happening, and in that contest, there is no contest: Republicans are winning in a landslide — something that’s certainly not going to make ABC, CBS, NBC, CNN, MSNBC or PBS.
You can make your voice heard with your state legislator and learn more about The Convention of States here.
EDITORS NOTE: This column originally appeared on AllenBWest.com.