US mid-terms in perspective

Chris Bowers looks back at the mid-terms to take stock of what the Democrats actually won now that the dust has settled.

In state legislative bodies, Democrats control 56 chambers, Republicans control 40. Two, the Montana House (previously tied) and the Pennsylvania House (previously Republican controlled) are undecided. Democrats took nine legislative chambers, and lost none. The gains came in Indiana (House), Iowa (House and Senate), Michigan (House), Minnesota (House), New Hampshire (House and Senate), Oregon (House), and Wisconsin (Senate). The Iowa Senate was previously tied, and the Oklahoma Senate, previously controlled by Democrats, is also now tied. I believe, however, that the tie in the Oklahoma Senate goes to Democrats, because we have the Governorship there.

Democrats control 3,964 state legislature seats, and Republicans control 3,307. I do not know how many are controlled by third parties, or are currently undecided. Democrats also have a non-southern majority in state legislature seats for the first time in many years.

It’s an interesting post worth reading. As he says:

We have now almost entirely restocked our bench following the 1994 elections. Our list of potential candidates for higher office at every level is now much longer than it was only six years ago. We also are in a position to favorably remake electoral maps in than we were six years ago.


8 Responses to US mid-terms in perspective

  1. Harry Barnes says:

    Go beyond the Crud. Peter4Leader.

  2. HenryG says:

    Harry, your blog won’t allow me to respond to your article since I am not a blogger myself (!), but I was struck by your main argument:

    “It is getting to crunch time. Peter needs to explain how close his book of 1995 will be to his manifesto for fighting for the Deputy Leadership.”

    Is this what it’s come down to Harry? Vote for Peter because he was pretty good when John Major was PM! I should be a natural Hain supporter – I believe in participatory democracy, the fusion between red and green politics and the rest of it, but all I can assume in the subsequent years is that Peter Hain is no good at implementing his own politics.

    Ignoring the fact that he has done such a blatant u-turn on his views on Europe, or that he has been a member of CND but now is in favour of nuclear energy and renewing Trident, the main concern to be is his analysis on where we are as a party. Read this article by Peter Hain this week and look at the comments.

    The Peter Hain of old would never have written:

    “We do not need a fundamental debate on our aims and values, as I believe we are ideologically united as a movement.”

    Peter has had his opportunities to put into practice his politics. But why vote for someone who was good who we all know is going to fail to meet the mark? It’d be like picking Paul Gascoigne to play for England today, but saying he was really good once you know. I’d argue that Jon Cruddas is now best placed to take up the mantle for the thinking left. He may not have held ministerial office, but he has not disappointed us in the way Peter has.

  3. Benjamin says:

    The US party system is depressing. We are talking about a rather uncompetitive duopoly here, where legal gerrymandering and corruption are tolerated. Meamwhile the policies of the two main parties are far too close. The Democrats are better, but by not a long enough chalk.

  4. Benjamin says:

    Peter Hain is all right I suppose. I have a liberal South African heritage, and we certainly have good memories of him campaigning against apartheid. However he seems too soiled by the New Labour project these days. I don’t think he believes in it all, but he’s made a Faustian pact with them.

  5. HenryG says:

    O/T Interesting summary of the deputy leadership contest in today’s Times:

    “Peter Hain has his supporters, though not among his Cabinet colleagues, while Harriet Harman’s campaign rests on the fallacy that only a female deputy leader can address the party’s vulnerability among women voters. But there is no evidence that a woman deputy leader is the answer.

    Of the declared contenders, Mr Benn and Mr Johnson are the front-runners. There is, of course, a long way to ago before the contest starts, and the field will probably narrow. But Mr Johnson has slipped back in the past two months, while Mr Benn is well placed for his name recognition among Labour activists, if not voters generally. His likeable image, his position as International Development Secretary and the absence of a controversial record may also be helpful.

    But watch Mr Cruddas, who could attract quite a lot of support for his alternative security and economic agenda. The post may not matter much, but the contest could say a lot about the post-Blair Labour Party.”,,17129-2457854,00.html

  6. Benjamin says:

    Yeah. Out of the candidates currently on show for the Deputy Leadership, it’s Cruddas or bust, for me.

    You know where to mark your X, right? Don’t slip up, don’t be a chump.

  7. “We do not need a fundamental debate on our aims and values, as I believe we are ideologically united as a movement.”

    Yes, I’ve noticed this one in several of Hain’s recent promotional articles. I’m not quite sure what planet he sent this one in from.

    Let’s be clear, unlike some others on Labour’s moderate left, I’m actually a lot more sympathetic Blairism – at least in terms of domestic policy – than I was three or four ago. I’m really happy with a large percentage of the practical results of having a Labour government.

    But ‘ideologically united’ implies that we have the same (or at least a similar) view of what an ideal world would be like.

    I’m not even close to having that sort of relationship with the Blairite wing of the party, and there’s plently of people in ‘the movement’ who are miles to the left of me.

  8. John42 says:

    Agon Demjaha Since the collapse of communism in the early 1990s, the countries of the Balkan region have undergone a transition towards a market economy and a pluralistic democracy. ,

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