And back in 2001, the Progressive Review was a lonely voice reporting:
USA Today calls it "the hidden election," in which nearly 7,000 state legislative seats are decided with only minimal media and public attention. But there was an important national story here: evidence of the disaster that Bill Clinton was for the Democratic Party. According to the National Conference of State Legislatures, Democrats held a 1,542 seat lead in the state bodies in 1990. As of 1998 that lead had shrunk to 288. That's a loss of over 1,200 state legislative seats, nearly all of them under Clinton. Across the US, the Democrats controlled only 65 more state senate seats than the Republicans.
Further, in 1992, the Democrats controlled 17 more state legislatures than the Republicans. After 1998, the Republicans controlled one more than the Democrats. Not only was this a loss of 9 legislatures under Clinton, but it was the first time since 1954 that the GOP had controlled more state legislatures than the Democrats (they tied in 1968).
Here's what happened to the Democrats under Clinton, based on our latest figures:
- GOP seats gained in House since Clinton became president: 45
- GOP seats gained in Senate since Clinton became president: 7
- GOP governorships gained since Clinton became president: 11
- GOP state legislative seats gained since Clinton became president: 1,254
as of 1998
- State legislatures taken over by GOP since Clinton became president: 9
- Democrat officeholders who have become Republicans since Clinton became
president: 439 as of 1998
- Republican officeholders who have become Democrats since Clinton became president: 3