Tomorrow's Real Prize? State Legislatures

Forget Congress: It's governorships and state chambers that count
By Evann Gastaldo,  Newser Staff
Posted Nov 1, 2010 9:15 AM CDT
In this photo taken Sept. 9, 2010, Wisconsin Democratic gubernatorial candidate Tom Barrett takes part in early voting in Milwaukee.   (AP Photo/Morry Gash)

(Newser) – As tomorrow’s election looms, most are focused on which party will control next year’s Congress—but the big prize is really state legislatures, writes Nick Baumann in Mother Jones. A party that gains a “trifecta—control of the governorship and both chambers of the state legislature”—can “draw congressional districts within that state unencumbered by any need to compromise with the other party.”

Baumann zeroes in on five Great Lakes states that the GOP has set its sights on. If Republicans win gubernatorial and state legislative races in Indiana, Michigan, Ohio, Pennsylvania, and Wisconsin, the GOP could redraw congressional districts as they wish, and “dominate the House for much longer than the next few years.” Based on the current data, it's a very real possibility that Republicans will hold the governor's office in all five states after tomorrow, “and the Dems could easily lose their grip on the six legislative chambers they control today.” Click here for his full analysis of which races to watch in each of the five states.

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