Rising Number of States Seeing One-Party Rule

photo credit: photologue_npDivided government still rules in the nation’s capital after last week’s Tuesday’s vote, but unity is increasingly the name of the game in cities such as Annapolis, Topeka, Concord and Little Rock.

In a little-noticed footnote to last week’s election, state legislature elections this year have produced the highest number of states with one-party rule in 60 years. Democrats or Republicans now have sole control of the governorship and both legislative chambers in 37 state capitals around the country.

According to the National Conference of State Legislatures (NCSL), which tracks party representation in the country’s 50 state governments, Democrats now control all three bases of power – the governorship and both houses of the state legislature – in 14 states and Republicans in 23, with only 12 states sharing power. (Nebraska’s unicameral legislature is considered nonpartisan.)


Regional power bases are also emerging, with Democrats increasingly dominating state governments across New England.

Conversely, after last week’s vote, the GOP for the first time since 1872 now controls the Arkansas House and Senate. Just 20 years ago, Republicans didn’t have a majority in a single legislative house in the states of the old Confederacy – now they control all 11.

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