Where down-ballot races can have a real impact this year
Spencer Platt/Getty Images
John Roberts’ Supreme Court has handed more power to the states in recent years (most notably on abortion this summer) and may grant legislatures increased authortiy over elections later this year.
With state lawmakers gaining power, legislative elections are increasingly important. So The Fulcrum has decided to examine which state legislatures are most likely to see a power shift this fall. Reya Kumar kicks off the series this week with a look at Alaska, Connecticut and New Hampshire, where one chamber could change control.
- In Alaska, Republicans control the most seats but don’t run the House because a bipartisan coalition handed power to Democrats. If the GOP wins enough seats, Republicans would have the trifecta (control over both chambers as well as the governor’s mansion).
- Republicans hope to break up the Democratic trifecta in Connecticut by capturing the Senate.
- And Democrats want to end the GOP trifecta in New Hampshire by taking control of the 400-person House.
The weekly series will continue next Wednesday.
The ranked-choice voting people have New York City, Maine, Alaska, San Francisco and dozens of other cities. The folks pushing approval voting have secured Fargo and St. Louis. Until this summer, everyone seemed willing to stay out of each other’s way, happy to see voting reforms happen in some form.
But now Seattle offers a rare battleground, where RCV and approval voting are facing off to see which one voters prefer. The city council has already granted a ballot question on approval voting, but RCV backers are trying to get a question of their own in front of voters in November.
- In an approval voting system, people can vote for as many candidates as they want and whoever gets the most votes wins (or advances, in the case of a primary).
- In an RCV system, voters rank candidates and if no one gets a majority of first-place votes, the person with the fewest is eliminated. That candidate’s support is redistributed, with ballots allocated to voters’ second choice. The process continues until someone has a majority.
Additional reading: The next political revolution is hiding in plain sight
Millennials and Gen Z represent an increasingly diverse American populace, but the baby boomers continue to dominate congressional leadership and the presidency.
"The Science of Politics" podcast welcomed guest Penn State political scientist Kevin Munger, who believes generational conflict is inevitable as the baby boomers retire but maintain their political influence against much more diverse, less religious, and more liberal rising generations.
Also in the news
Young Voters Are Fed Up With Their (Much) Older Leaders (The New York Times)
Essential Politics: Why are Democrats buying ads for far-right candidates? (Los Angeles Times)
Great-Power Competition Is Bad for Democracy (Foreign Affairs)
As Faith Flags in U.S. Government, Many Voters Want to Upend the System (The New York Times)
Briefing on Recent FixUS Patriotism Poll Results - Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget - July 14
Briefing- Recall Report - Ballotpedia - July 14
Skills for Bridging the Divide - Braver Angels - July 16
Supreme Court: Justice for the Party or the People? - Crossing Party LInes - July 17