Governing on legislatures

None of the three Northwest states – Washington, Oregon, Idaho – are seriously in doubt as to their presidential preferences, and there are remarkably few really competitive races in the whole region even on the whole of the congressional level. (I count just one, the Washington 1st, everything else going to incumbent parties or, in the case of Washington 10, Democrat Denny Heck.)

The legislatures are another matter. Idaho’s is not up for grabs, but the Washington Senate, where the margin is close, and the Oregon House and Senate, are both close enough that partisan control is somewhat in doubt.

Viewing this from a national perspective is Louis Jacobsen of Governing magazine, who’s examined all 50 states’ chambers (99 of them, factoring in Nebraska’s nonpartisan unicameral).

Idaho’s, of course, is lopsided Republican and will remain so.

In Oregon, where the House is evenly split 30-30 and the Senate is 16-14 Democratic, Jacobsen suggests: “The House is currently tied with split-partisan control. The combination of Obama’s presence on top of the ticket, a sex scandal involving a Republican leader and tough races for several GOP freshmen in challenging districts suggests that the Democrats are slightly favored to win outright control of the chamber. In the Senate, the Democrats are slight favorites to keep their current 16-14 edge.”

In Washington, where Democrats have a clearer but still thin measure of control in both chambers: “The Democratic House majority looks secure, but the Senate is up for grabs. The Democrats suffered defections by some of its more moderate members on key votes, a shift that hastened the retirement of the majority leader. Several open seats could go either way, so we’re calling this a tossup.”

Seems in both cases to reflect the prevailing on ground view.

Share on Facebook