Facing South

3 big election stories in the South

Facing South
Facing South
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2010 shaped up to be the big election year everyone promised it would be. Here are some of the top election stories coming out of Southern states:

A TEA PARTY PARTY: Whether it's an organized movement, a
vague anti-government sentiment, or just a faddish media label (think
"soccer moms") for energized Republicans, the tea party was an
influential phenomenon in 2010.

Aside from the marquee senate victories in Florida and Kentucky and for
governor in South Carolina, tea party activism -- boosted by generous
corporate sponsorship through groups like Americans for Prosperity,
FreedomWorks and the Tea Party Express -- helped tip key House and state
legislative races to the Republicans.

About 40% of the voters who turned out for U.S. Senate races said they supported the tea party, according to CNN exit polls.
More than anything, that reflects who was energized to vote this year.
Whether or not the tea party -- loosely defined -- ends up being a
durable political constituency, its impact in 2010 is undeniable.

BEST ELECTIONS MONEY COULD BUY: This is a national story, but it certainly was a big factor in the South. 87% of voters in CNN exit polls said they are "worried" about the economy, but special interest groups
still found plenty of money to spend on the 2010 elections.

Fueled by the Supreme Court's Citizens United decision loosening rules on corporate spending to influence elections, outside independent groups and party committees poured a staggering $454.7 million into U.S. House and Senate races in 2010, according to the Sunlight Foundation.

That's up from a mere $53.9 million in 2006. The four U.S. Senate races in Arkansas, Florida, Kentucky and West Virginia cost $38.5 million alone in 2010. And that's not including massive spending in state-level races.

In the end, 52% of the money went to help Republicans and 48% to
Democrats. But GOP groups were early and decisive leaders in the
election money battle, with Democrats only closing the gap in the final
weeks -- too late, in many cases, to make a difference.

STATE HOUSE CONTROL: Republicans flipped control of both the upper and lower chambers in the Alabama and North Carolina legislatures. That GOP now controls seven of 13 Southern state legislatures, and splits control in two more (Kentucky and Virginia). Here's a map from the National Conference of State Legislatures:

2010 State Legislature Map.JPG
That puts Republicans in the driver's seat for redistricting, the drawing of new state political lines that greatly influences the balance of political power.

In Florida, Georgia, South Carolina and Texas, this also means Republicans will draw up lines for the seven new Congressional districts their states are projected to gain after the 2010 Census numbers are released.

Key issue to watch: When Republicans were out of power in Alabama and North Carolina, many of them called for creating an independent redistricting commission to decrease partisan control over the process in their respective states.

Now that Republicans are in charge, will they still feel the same way?

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re: 3 big election stories in the South

Along with the facts and figures presented in the above article, there is yet another item that needs to be reported which will have a huge impact on the 2012 elections. With republicans governors taking over about a dozen new states there are approximately 670 Republicans getting elected to state governments across the nation. This is a huge change in ideology and will impact the 2012 election and make Barack Obama a one term President.

re: 3 big election stories in the South

"...Now that Republicans are in charge, will they still feel the same way?"

Though rhetorical, I think not...

re: 3 big election stories in the South

"When Republicans were out of power in Alabama and North Carolina, many of them called for creating an independent redistricting commission to decrease partisan control over the process in their respective states."

Of course we all know why. They did not want the Dems to do the redistricting. There is absolutely not a snowballs chance in Hades that they will not do it themselves now that they are back in power.

The Governor Elect has picked Charles McCrary,
Mr. Big Coal himself (AP CEO) to head his transition team.

There went any hope of fair-play in Alabama.

re: 3 big election stories in the South

The only good thing to come out of the election is that we won't have to listen to the Republicans pushing for term limits anymore.