Passing Zone

Outside the Beltway: Tour the Statehouse Battlegrounds

November 8, 2016

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Colorado State Capitol Building, Denver. Photo: Colorado Tourism Office
Colorado State Capitol Building, Denver. Photo: Colorado Tourism Office

Every four years on Election Day, most Americans (not to mention the world at large) are focused on who will win the White House. A good number of us may keep our eye on key Capitol Hill races, too, but not many pay much heed to which party will control which statehouses when all the results are counted.

That’s a shame because an awful lot of laws that impact both our daily lives and the workings of business are made and implemented at the state level. Certainly, for those managing fleet operations, it matters greatly not just who has a grasp on the levers of power in Washington, but who runs things in every state their trucks traverse.

So, once the hullabaloo over the new President-elect winds down and the country learns whether or not the GOP has retained control of the U.S. Senate, look up the statehouse results.

This time around, according to Huffington Post political reporter Paul Blumenthal, the Democratic Party stands to flip legislative chambers in no fewer than 12 states: Arizona, Colorado, Iowa, Maine, Michigan, Minnesota, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Mexico, New York, Washington, and West Virginia.

“Many of these states are on favorable terrain for Democrats with presidential election turnout expected to boost voting for the party’s base of minorities, the young and women,” writes Blumenthal. “This is especially true of states with high Latino and Asian populations including Arizona, Colorado, Nevada and New Mexico.”

What’s more, there’s no competitive Senate race in four of these states. “That means that the Republican Party has not invested heavily to get out the vote for their Senate candidate, which hurts those down ballot,” he contends. Likewise, Democratic down-ballot candidates in states like Colorado, Iowa, Maine and Michigan will no dobt be lifted by Hillary Clinton’s ground game to get out the vote.

Among other highlights, Blumenthal points out that by “riding a wave of anti-Trump sentiment from minority groups, Democrats in California are likely to wipe out the Republican Party in the state and win a legislative supermajority.”

And there may be small Democratic victories as well: “Democrats in North Carolina are hoping Attorney General Roy Cooper [D] can defeat the unpopular incumbent Gov. Pat McCrory [R], but they do not expect to win back control of the state legislature. They are, however, looking to win enough seats to deny Republicans the supermajority to override the incoming governor’s veto.”

Push away all the balloons and confetti that will be floating about and keep in mind that this is a big country-- but it’s made up of the 50 separate states. 

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David Cullen

Executive Editor

Executive Editor David Cullen comments on the positive and negative factors impacting trucking – from the latest government regulations and policy initiatives coming out of Washington DC to the array of business and societal pressures that also determine what truck-fleet managers must do to ensure their operations keep on driving ahead.

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