The Rise of Republicans in Our State Legislatures

Philip Bump: “Dr. Carl Klarner, a former professor at Indiana State University, has compiled decades of data on the partisan makeup of each state’s legislature — often stretching back to the 1940s. He shared that data with the Post, which allows us to view the pattern of partisanship stretching quite a bit further back.”

“According to Klarner’s data, there have never been more Republicans serving in state legislatures than there are currently.”

“The fact that there are so many more Republican-controlled legislatures, predictably, means that legislatures are more heavily Republican than in the past. Nearly half of state legislatures are 20 percentage points more Republican than Democratic, when the partisan leanings of the two chambers are combined.”

“The bigger question is why this shift has occurred. Part of it is that voters have become more Republican since 2008, when the big shifts started to occur. Part of it is that the population in less-Democratic states, particularly in the South and West, is increasing. Part of it is probably legislative gerrymandering.”

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