Michael Barone
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In Washington, Americans have two-party government, with a Democratic president and Senate and a Republican House. We had it before November's election and will have it again for the next two years.

Looking back from 2014, we will have had two-party government for most of the preceding two decades, for six years of Bill Clinton's presidency, three and a half years of George W. Bush's and four years of Barack Obama's.

But in most of the 50 states, American voters seem to have opted for something very much like one-party government.

Starting next month, Americans in 25 states will have Republican governors and Republicans in control of both houses of the state legislatures. They aren't all small states, either. They include about 53 percent of the nation's population.

At the same time, Americans in 15 states will have Democratic governors and Democrats in control of both houses of the state legislatures. They include about 37 percent of the nation's population.

That leaves only 10 percent in states in which neither party is in control.

The Republican edge is largely a result of the Republican trend in 2009 and 2010. Normally, you would expect the Democrats to recoup and shift the balance the next time they have a good off-year. Maybe they will in 2014.

But what's striking now is the wide margins in legislatures for one party or the other in state after state -- most of them, in fact.

According to the National Conference of State Legislatures, Republicans will have more than 60 percent of the members of both legislative houses in 17 states (Nebraska has a single nonpartisan legislature). And in nine more states, they'll have 60 percent of the members of one house plus a majority in the other and the governorship.

Democrats will have 60 percent plus of both houses in 11 states, and in two more they will have 60 percent in one house, a majority in the other plus the governorship.

This is true even in presidential target states. The Ohio Senate will be 23-10 Republican, the Florida House 74-46 Republican.

This trend to one-party control seems likely to have two consequences -- one of interest to political scientists and pundits, and the other to the larger public.

Pundits and political scientists will start to identify the chief conflicts being played out not so much in battles between the two parties -- like the struggle over public employee bargaining in Wisconsin -- but increasingly within the parties.

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Michael Barone

Michael Barone, senior political analyst for The Washington Examiner (www.washingtonexaminer.com), is a resident fellow at the American Enterprise Institute, a Fox News Channel contributor and a co-author of The Almanac of American Politics. To find out more about Michael Barone, and read features by other Creators Syndicate writers and cartoonists, visit the Creators Syndicate Web page at www.creators.com. COPYRIGHT 2011 THE WASHINGTON EXAMINER. DISTRIBUTED BY CREATORS.COM