The Political Evolution of the States, Mapped Part X

This is it, and thank heavens for I am done with this! I was getting tired of it.

Louisiana

Louisiana MC-Index

Louisiana starts in the 1930s as the state of Huey Long and is, as a state of the former Confederacy, uniformly Democratic. However, the Long era does not last forever and conservatives start rising in the state as well as conservatism growing among legislators. The great leap happens with the 1942 midterms, after which many Southern Democrats become significantly more conservative. However, there is a pushback in the 1950s to this conservatism, partly on account of Eisenhower’s agricultural policy. The 1960s sees a massive increase in conservatism, and conservatism reaches its height in the 20th century during the Nixon Administration. The Republican Party isn’t a significant force in the state yet, but in the 1980s they begin to rise but holding a Senate seat continues to evade them throughout the 20th century. Today, the state has become a solid Republican state but can still elect Democratic governors.

MC-Index for the Current Congress Thus Far: 78

New Hampshire

New Hampshire MC-Index

For a long time, New Hampshire was a Republican holdout in New England and it still remains the least Democratic, but its no longer the stronghold it once was. Back in the day, however, some pretty staunch conservatives could get elected to the Senate, such as Gordon J. Humphrey and Bob Smith. However, despite the high MC-Index scores in the 1990s, this was the decade that began the process of Democrats becoming competitive, which ultimately produced Congressional results in 2006. Today both Senate and House seats are held by Democrats. Republicans will likely be competitive in the 1st district this year but the Senate seat held by Jeanne Shaheen will be a tough one for Republicans to win, as she was a popular governor and now senator.

MC-Index for the Current Congress Thus Far: 5

New Jersey

New Jersey MC-Index

New Jersey was once much more Republican than now and even some of its Democrats were not party-liners: A. Harry Moore, the state’s Democrat in the Senate in 1935, voted against Social Security. However, the 1948 election produced Congressional victories in the House for the Democrats, including permanent ones in the 10th and 11th districts. The state’s Republicans proceeded to moderate their politics and the state became a bit of a home for liberal to moderate Republicans, the foremost of these being Senator Clifford Case, who became very liberal in his later career in the 1960s and 1970s. Ever since his last reelection in 1972, no Republican has been elected to the Senate by the people of New Jersey as the state’s Democratic registration swelled and Republicans became a milquetoast force. Chris Christie was the most encouraging phenomenon for Republicans in the 2010s, but his governorship ended with toilet bowl approval ratings after the “Bridgegate” scandal. Today Republicans hold only two House seats from the state, and although they may win some of the seats they lost back in the 2020 elections, Republicans are still far outpaced in voter registration and the heavily taxed and unionized nature of the state is bad for them.

MC-Index for the Current Congress Thus Far: 8

New York

New York MC-Index

New York is the state of FDR, and although Democrats became ascendant in the 1930s, upstate New York was for the most part unified in its Republicanism, a phenomenon you see a bit less of today. Upstate was quite solid up until the end of the 1950s and moderate to liberal Republicans could even get elected to the Senate. The state for a long time has had a Democratic advantage and the last time the state elected a Republican senator was in 1992, and the last time the state elected a Republican governor was in 2002. New York is yet another state that has high levels of unionization and taxes, bad factors for Republicans.

MC-Index for the Current Congress Thus Far: 16

South Carolina

South Carolina MC-Index

 

For the final state, it is the state of Strom Thurmond. Initially the elected officials of the state are for the most part New Dealers but conservatism, like in other places in the South, starts to rise towards the late 1930s and the 1940s. “Cotton Ed” Smith was a leading example of such a change, as he was at one point a progressive but turned against the New Deal after FDR tried to end his career in 1938. In 1948, the state voted for its favorite son candidate, Strom Thurmond, the Dixiecrat nominee, but the state didn’t start to remain above 50 in score until 1957. In 1964, the state voted for Goldwater and conservatism rose again, but the height of this in the 20th century, like with Louisiana, was during the Nixon Administration. The state has pretty much become the typical Southern state, although there has been promise for Democrats in the suburbs with the 1st district electing a Democrat in 2018, but this may only be temporary as the district had previously been held by the GOP since 1981.

MC-Index for the Current Congress Thus Far: 73

 

 

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