Writing:Partisan breakdown of state legislatures

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This page is a content-and-style guide about how to write a section in state legislative articles about the partisan make-up of that particular chamber.

The objective of this section is to enable your reader to quickly see what the partisan breakdown of the legislative chamber is. By "partisan breakdown," we mean how many members the chamber includes from each political party that is represented in the chamber.

The easiest way to convey this information is through the use of the chart below.

  • The chart is easily expandable by simply adding more sections, if more than two political parties are represented in the chamber.
  • If one or more members of the chamber belong to no party and are labeled as "independents," that's what the chart should show to reflect them.
  • It is most convenient for the reader if you include a line or two of narrative explanation of the chart that asserts when the partisan composition came to be what is reflected in the chart you plan to display.
  • For example, you could say, "Coming out of the November 2008 state house election, the Democratic Party took a 52-48 edge."
  • If the partisan composition has changed since the most recent general election to the state legislature because one or more special elections have occurred in the intervening period, you should say so. An example of that would be, "The partisan composition coming out of the November 2008 state house election gave the Democratic Party a 52-48 edge. However, in a special election in District 15 in July 2009, the seat shifted from a Democratic office-holder to a Republican office-holder, leading to the current 51-49 breakdown."
  • Similarly, if you happen to know what the partisan composition was in the previous session of this legislature, you should say that. For example, you could say, "The current Democratic edge of 52-48 after the November 2008 election represented a shift in partisan control because leading into the November 2008 election, the GOP was dominant in the chamber by a margin of 51-49."

{{state legislatures}}

Creating a chart

This is what the chart looks like:

Party 2009-2010
Blue Line.PNG Democratic Party 52
Red line.PNG Republican Party 48
Total 100

This is how to code that chart (example from the Indiana House of Representatives):


{|class="wikitable" cellspacing="0" cellpadding="5" border="1" style="background:none" style="width:25%;"
|-
! colspan="2" align="center" valign="bottom" style="background-color:#00008B; color: white;" | Party
! valign="bottom" style="background-color:#00008B; color: white;" | 2009-2010
|-
| [[File:Blue Line.PNG|25px]]
| [[Democratic Party]]
| align="center" | '''52'''
|-
| [[File:Red line.PNG|25px]]
| [[Republican Party]]
| align="center" | 48
|-
! colspan="2" align="center" | '''Total'''
! align="center" | '''100'''
|}

Partisan composition templates

See also: Partisan composition of state senates

Senates

{{Aksenatepartisan}} {{Alsenatepartisan}} {{Arsenatepartisan}} {{Azsenatepartisan}} {{Casenatepartisan}} {{Cosenatepartisan}} {{Ctsenatepartisan}} {{Desenatepartisan}} {{Flsenatepartisan}} {{Gasenatepartisan}} {{Hisenatepartisan}} {{Iasenatepartisan}} {{Idsenatepartisan}} {{Ilsenatepartisan}} {{Insenatepartisan}} {{Kssenatepartisan}} {{Kysenatepartisan}} {{Lasenatepartisan}} {{Masenatepartisan}} {{Mdsenatepartisan}} {{Mesenatepartisan}} {{Misenatepartisan}} {{Mnsenatepartisan}} {{Mosenatepartisan}} {{Mssenatepartisan}} {{Mtsenatepartisan}} {{Ncsenatepartisan}} {{Ndsenatepartisan}} {{Nhsenatepartisan}} {{Njsenatepartisan}} {{Nmsenatepartisan}} {{Nvsenatepartisan}} {{Nysenatepartisan}} {{Ohsenatepartisan}} {{Oksenatepartisan}} {{Orsenatepartisan}} {{Pasenatepartisan}} {{Risenatepartisan}} {{Scsenatepartisan}} {{Sdsenatepartisan}} {{Tnsenatepartisan}} {{Txsenatepartisan}} {{Utsenatepartisan}} {{Vasenatepartisan}} {{Vtsenatepartisan}} {{Wasenatepartisan}} {{Wisenatepartisan}} {{Wvsenatepartisan}} {{Wysenatepartisan}}

Houses

See also: Partisan composition of state houses

{{Akhousepartisan}} {{Alhousepartisan}} {{Arhousepartisan}} {{Azhousepartisan}} {{Cahousepartisan}} {{Cohousepartisan}} {{Cthousepartisan}} {{Dehousepartisan}} {{Flhousepartisan}} {{Gahousepartisan}} {{Hihousepartisan}} {{Iahousepartisan}} {{Idhousepartisan}} {{Ilhousepartisan}} {{Inhousepartisan}} {{Kshousepartisan}} {{Kyhousepartisan}} {{Lahousepartisan}} {{Mahousepartisan}} {{Mdhousepartisan}} {{Mehousepartisan}} {{Mihousepartisan}} {{Mnhousepartisan}} {{Mohousepartisan}} {{Mshousepartisan}} {{Mthousepartisan}} {{Nchousepartisan}} {{Ndhousepartisan}} {{Nhhousepartisan}} {{Njhousepartisan}} {{Nmhousepartisan}} {{Nvhousepartisan}} {{Nyhousepartisan}} {{Ohhousepartisan}} {{Okhousepartisan}} {{Orhousepartisan}} {{Pahousepartisan}} {{Rihousepartisan}} {{Schousepartisan}} {{Sdhousepartisan}} {{Tnhousepartisan}} {{Txhousepartisan}} {{Uthousepartisan}} {{Vahousepartisan}} {{Vthousepartisan}} {{Wahousepartisan}} {{Wihousepartisan}} {{Wvhousepartisan}} {{Wyhousepartisan}}