By Karl Kurtz
Reacting to the news that the Washington Senate has a new majority consisting of a coalition of two Democrats and 23 Republicans (Democrats held a nominal 26-23 majority after the 2012 election), a Washington staffer sent us this question: In my 30 years in the Washington Legislature beginning in 1982, the majority in the Senate has changed eight times. Can any other legislative body, house or senate, match that level of voter indecisiveness?
Good question. During the 1982-2012 period, the Washington Senate was one of the kings of swings in party control, tied at eight with the Indiana and Montana houses and tops among senates. The Montana and Maine senates have each switched seven times. The Michigan and Minnesota houses have switched six times over the last 30 years and the North Carolina House and Alaska and Wisconsin senates five each.
Twenty-five of the 99 chambers have had no switches in party control over the 1982-2012 period.
Look for more on the Washington Senate and other coalitions in The Thicket next week.