GOP 's 2010 win in state legislatures still paying dividends

Barack Obama has spent well over $1 billion on his political campaigns, but it’s the $20 to $30 million Democrats didn’t shell out three years ago that is costing the White House as he slogs through the first six months of his second term.

The GOP’s wildly successful, low-key, and stunningly cheap campaign to seize state capitals in 2010 has come back to haunt Obama and his fellow Democrats. It’s now clear that the party’s loss of 20 state legislative chambers and critical Midwestern governor’s seats represents an ongoing threat every bit as dangerous as the more-publicized Republican take-back of the House that same year.

There was no stopping the GOP wave that year — but strategists in both parties say Obama’s team might have blunted it if they had somehow managed to cut into the GOP’s $30-to-$10 million cash advantage in state house races by making campaigns at the very bottom of the ballot a priority.

For that seed money, Republicans secured an historic return, cementing a ten-year grip on the House of Representatives and a score of state houses, and erasing the remaining smudges of blue in red states.

“The Obama team has done some amazing things, those guys are really something, but the Democrats plain got skunked on the state houses,” says former Rep. Tom Reynolds (R-N.Y.), chairman of REDMAP, the group founded by Republican über-operative Ed Gillespie in late 2009 to influence state races ahead of the critical once-a-decade map-drawing process.

“They weren’t in the same league as us, and that’s having lasting consequences,” added Reynolds, who represented the Buffalo, N.Y. area for five terms.

It might be the greatest opportunity cost of the Obama Era in terms of sheer damage to Democrats, a gift that keeps giving to the Republicans in the form of GOP-dominated redistricting and a barrage of state actions that challenge Obama’s core agenda on health care, civil rights and abortion.
There is more.

I think this also may explain the Obama administration's war on Texas.  Having lost the states they are now trying to impose bad blue state policies through the courts.  There problem has been further compounded by the success of the red state model versus those states that are still ruled by Democrats.


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