At the 2004 Democratic Convention, Barack Obama was introduced to the world. His most well-known statement from that speech remains “There are no red states or blue states, just the United States.” Fortunately, President Obama was once again wrong and we will all benefit from the fact there truly is a divide.
Living in California, we feel that divide daily. Since 1998, this state has been run by left-wing Democrats only slightly diverted by the presence of the disastrous Arnold Schwarzenegger. With this election the residents have now given complete control of the state to left-wing Democrats. Not only are the Governor and all other constitutional officers Democrats, but now they have a super majority in the legislature. That means Republicans in Sacramento not only will have closets for offices, but they may as well stay home because they will have zero to say on any issue.
But this is not unique across the 50 states. In 15 states the Democrats have all the levers of government. At the same time, 25 states are completely run by Republicans. Ten other states have some form of a mix between the parties, with Nebraska -- having a “non-partisan” unicameral legislature -- being the odd state out. The other ten states have a government with a mix of two party control. For most of the country they have chosen to be controlled by one party, but the question becomes are things that simple?
There are certainly states that have become unmitigated disasters and thrown off the yoke of Democrats running their state. These states are predominantly in the Midwest and used to be referred to as the rust belt. Michigan, Wisconsin, Ohio, and Pennsylvania are prominent states that have decided to hand control of their states to Republicans after years of malaise. This follows on the heels of Indiana run by Mitch Daniels (and now Mike Pence) and a Republican legislature making major improvements in operation of that state. Obviously there have been some major battles, particularly in Wisconsin, but from preliminary reports all the states are moving toward better financial conditions without raising taxes.
More important are the other states that have thrown their lot in with one party or the other. For example there are seven states that have no income tax. Five are completely controlled by Republicans, one (Washington) is a Democratic state and Nevada has divided government.