Think federal policy matters? Here’s why conservatives have a once-in-a-lifetime legislative opportunity at the state level

Here is Daniel Horowitz writing at Convention of the States:

If Donald Trump truly wants to make America great again, the most profound and enduring way to accomplish that is by making state governments great again. This is the case not only because localism is the right approach to governance and a way to heal the partisan divide, but it could also help create a permanent majority for conservatives throughout much of the country and erect a long-term firewall in the states for when Democrats win back control of the federal government.

The amazing opportunity in the states

The breadth of GOP dominance in state legislatures in recent years, which culminated in last week’s elections, is nothing short of astonishing. They hold 34 governorships, 33 states with control of both chambers of the legislature, and hold the trifecta (governor and both chambers) in 25 states. Democrats hold a trifecta in just five states and there are only 12 states in which they fully control both chambers of the legislature. Republicans also won 31 secretary of state offices, which means they will control election law in many states — to the extent the courts are barred from meddling with the process.

What is so astounding about the GOP achieving this degree of domination in the states is that this was a presidential year. Due to increased racial polarization of the parties, there has been a growing gulf in turnout between presidential years and midterm elections that benefits Republicans in off years. This means Republicans have room to grow to pick off a few red/purple state governors and even some lean-blue state legislative chambers in two years.

Moreover, in an overwhelming number of the 33 GOP-controlled states, including critical states such as Pennsylvania, Ohio, North Carolina, and Florida, Republicans enjoy super-majorities in one or both chambers. Democrats only have five or so deep blue states where they command a super majority in the state senate to overcome a filibuster from Republicans or override the veto of a GOP governor. For example, even in deeply blue Illinois, Republicans broke the Democrat super-majority in the state house.

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