The Forgotten Race(s)
There have been about a gajillion bytes-worth of pontificating and prognositicating as to whom will control the House of Representatives after the November elections. In fact, last week even Rapid Robert Gibbs felt compelled to enter the fray. Well, at least until The Bay Area Beauty, aka Nancy Pelosi, stepped in to, ahem, “encourage” Mr. Gibbs to speak more kindly of the Dem chances. And with the recent entrance of CA, WA and WI into “toss-up” territory, the once unfathomable thought that the Republicans could actually take control of the U.S. Senate this November just became fathomable.
A conservative’s dream. A Harry Reid/Nancy Pelosi nightmare.
But if you want to see Rahmbo Emmanuel and David Axelrod morph into sniveling, sobbing Lindsay Lohan look-a-likes as the reality of their futures sinks into them, utter the words “state legislatures”.
Now, in most years, paying attention to state legislative races is about as exciting as watching the Yankees buy another World Series ring. But if you’ve looked at your calendar lately, you’ll notice that we are in a year which ends in a “0″. Unless you slept your way through Civics class, that means that you recoginize that not only did the Census take place this year but that the decennial bar room brawl known as redistricting is soon to follow.
Now certainly not every state uses just the state legislatures and governorships to shape redistricting boundaries. But most do, either with the Legislature/Governor completely controlling the process or having substantial input into it and influence over it. So what’s it looking like out there for Team Obama? Well, the current legislative line-up shows 26 legislatures controlled completely by Democrats, 14 completely controlled by Republicans, and 9 which are divided (Nebraska has a “non-partisan” unicameral legislature). In addition, there are currently 26 Democrat and 23 Republican governors (with turncoat Charlie Crist of Florida being the lone “Independent” governor.)
Here’s where it gets scary for Democrat strategists. According to a Washington Times article dated July 12, the preeminent prognosticator of legislative races, Governing magazine, estimates that 27 of the 98 legislative chambers are “in play”. Of those 27 chambers, 23 are Democrat and only 4 are Republican. If Governing’s prodigious prognostications are correct, the alignment of state legislative chambers post-November 2nd will reflect a mind-numbing shift from a current line up of 61 D/37 R to 42 D/56 R.
But that’s just the beginning of the nightmare on electoral street for the Dems. That 26 to 23 lead that Democrats currently have over Republicans in governerships? Well, if one looks at the RealClearPolitics no toss-ups, “as we speak” analysis of the Governor’s races one finds a staggering 11 seat pickup projected for the Republicans. That would lead to a lineup of 35 Republican governors and only 14 Democrat governors. The effect of that number of executive chairs being occupied by Republicans is, well, nightmare-inducing if you’re George Soros.
But the best news about these races, especially the state legislative ones, is that the impact that the average conservative activist can have on one is enormous. With the exception of states like California and New York, most legislative races are rather low key, low cost affairs. That $50 donation which seems like a drop in the bucket in a $2,000,000 congressional campaign, or a $15,000,000 senatorial race, is a substantial and much more impactful donation to a $20,000 legislative campaign. A couple of hundred GOTV phone calls will make a good-sized dent in a legislative district. And door-knocking your way onto the front porches of a substantial percentage of the registered voters in your district is more than just some nascent dream. And the added bonus, borne of experience, is that if you do any or all of the things noted above, you will get to know, on a first name basis, the name of your state senator or representative. These campaigns operate on shoe-string budgets and the candidates become very appreciative of those who man the barricades with them.
Too often, we conservatives, task oriented as we are, find ourselves myopically focused on the plate set before us while the leftists are plotting to craft strategies which will come to fruition years and decades hence. After suffering through close to two years of the most anti-free enterprise, socialistic, statist, intrusive legislation in our history, the prospect of actually taking back the U.S. House and Senate is almost stultifying in its contemplation. But this November, we not only have the opportunity to stop in its tracks the maddening rush to a command economy, we have the opportunity to mold and frame and shape the debate in this country for the next ten years.
Google the state representative in your district. Bing the state senator who’s supposed to be representing you. Find their websites. Click on their donate buttons. Find out what volunteer activities they need. Stuff envelopes. Hang door hangers. Get involved. Be the Party.
Come November 2nd, let’s not leave any chips on the table.
Originally posted at 73wire.com