Big News of the Night: No Big Trends! (In State Legislatures)

By November 5, 2008General

Quite interesting, in terms of all-politics-is-local observations. From Alan Greenblatt at Governing:

Few legislative chambers changed hands yesterday. Those that did reflected the increasingly regional nature of the major parties’ strength.

“This wasn’t a big, overwhelming night for Democrats,” says Tim Storey, of the National Conference of State Legislatures. “They definitely got their wins, but they didn’t command legislative elections like they did two years ago.”

Democrats won the biggest prize of the night, taking control of the New York Senate for the first time since 1966 — and gaining control of the entire New York State government for the first time since the Depression. They now hold at least 32 seats in the 62-seat chamber.

But Republicans pulled off the biggest surprise of the cycle, taking the Tennessee House for the first time since 1971. They also broke a tie in the Tennessee Senate, winning a solid majority that gives them total control of the legislature for the first time since Reconstruction.

Republicans also broke a tie in the Oklahoma Senate, taking control of that chamber for the first time ever.

Finally, congratulations to your correspondent’s former boss, Governor John Hoeven of North Dakota, the first governor in the state to win election to a third, four-year term. Seventy-four percent!  Hoeven has emphasized jobs-creation in North Dakota, where economic growth and the expansion of manufacturing has been driven by the energy sector — coal, some ethanol, and oil, lots of oil. 

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