by Karl Kurtz
Alan Greenblatt's well-done piece in Ballot Box last week, "Seeing Red in Oklahoma," taking NPR to task for calling Oklahoma "the most Republican state in the Union" suggests that we should publish the list of the most Republican and Democratic state legislatures.
There are three states in which Republicans hold more than two-thirds of the total seats after the 2008 election:
Kansas, where Republicans hold 77 percent of the seats in the Senate--second among senates only to Idaho, just misses the two-thirds cut with 65 percent of the total seats in the Legislature in Republican hands. Oklahoma ranks 10th among the most Republican legislatures.
Democrats will hold two-thirds or more of all legislative states in seven states in 2009:
The 89-90 percent numbers for Rhode Island, Hawaii and Massachusetts are remarkable. New York Democrats hold nearly three-quarters of the seats in the Assembly, but their narrow, two-seat margin in the Senate means that they miss the two-thirds threshold among total seats by 0.1 points.
Trivia time (courtesy of Tim Storey):
- What are the four states in which Republicans have never held a majority in either chamber since Reconstruction?
- What is the only state in which Democrats have never held the majority in both chambers at the same time? (Yeah, I know, this sounds like one of those stupid sports statistics that Frank Deford was complaining about the other day. My only defense is that this is a blog by and for legislative junkies.)
Answers below the jump.
- Alabama, Arkansas, Louisiana, [and Mississippi--see qualifying comments below] are the last remnants of the "Solid South." (Louisiana currently has a Republican speaker, but Democrats still have the majority of seats.)
- North Dakota--Democrats have at some point had the majority in both the House (1982 election) and the Senate (1994) but never at the same time.