State government trifectas

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A state government trifecta is when one political party holds these three positions in a state's government:
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The concept of the trifecta is important in state lawmaking because in many states, the governor, senate majority leader and house majority leader play decisive roles in the legislative process.

There are currently 36 total trifectas.

The 36 trifectas is the most in more than 60 years.[1] There are two additional "elected trifectas" -- however, power-sharing complexities have removed those states from the trifecta count.

Trifecta plus

As of December 2012, the following 12 states have a Trifecta Plus. In three states, the Democratic Party has a trifecta while the State Supreme Court has a working majority of justices that tend to support progressive jurisprudence. In nine states, the Republican Party has a trifecta while the State Supreme Court has a working majority of justices that tend to support conservative/libertarian issues.

An additional layer of analysis includes adding a State Supreme Court's partisan leaning to the trifecta data. In some states, the State Supreme Court justice is elected on a partisan ticket. In other states, the justices are appointed, but an effective understanding exists that a working majority of the court sides with either conservative or progressive issues.

A Trifecta Plus for the Democratic Party is a state with a Trifecta and a working majority of the State's High Court that tends to support progressive jurisprudence. A Trifecta Plus for the GOP is a state with a Trifecta and a working majority of the State's High Court that tends to support conservative/libertarian jurisprudence.

Based upon judicial analysis, there are 22 states where the State Supreme Court can be labeled as leaning in one direction or the other. Incorporating the trifecta data, the following is a breakdown of the states with a Trifecta Plus, as of December 2012.

Electiondot.png Democratic Trifecta Plus

  • Illinois
  • Oregon
  • West Virginia

Ends.png Republican Trifecta Plus

  • Alabama
  • Alaska
  • Idaho
  • Michigan
  • Mississippi
  • North Carolina
  • Ohio
  • Texas
  • Wisconsin

The judicial landscape of the courts is based upon the Democratic Judicial Campaign Committee's analysis.[2]

Elections

2012

See also: Democratic and Republican state government trifectas heading into the 2012 elections

Heading into the 2012 elections there were 33 total trifectas in the United States. After the election, there were five new trifectas, bringing the total to 38 trifectas. However, following the election, power-sharing arrangements in two states reduced the total trifectas to 36.

Trifecta complexities

There are three states that complicate the labeling of trifectas. These three unique situations brought the total trifectas from 37 to 36, decreasing the Democratic states by two and adding one GOP state.

  • In New York, the Democratic party by virtue of the elections controls all three levels of government. However, a power-sharing agreement was reached that gave control of the State Senate over to the Republicans, after five elected Democrats pledged to caucus with the GOP. This burst the Democratic trifecta, reducing the total trifectas by one state.[3]
  • In Virginia, the State Senate is a tied chamber as a result of the 2011 elections. However, the tiebreaking vote is cast by the Lieutenant Governor, who is a Republican. Thus, control of the Governorship and state legislature effectively rests with the Republicans. This gives Republicans an additional trifecta, increasing the total trifectas by one state.[4]
  • In Washington, the Democratic by virtue of the elections controls all three levels of government. However, a power-sharing agreement was reached that gave control of the State Senate over to the Republicans, after two conservative Democrats pledged to elected Republican leadership to the chamber. This burst the Democratic trifecta, reducing the total trifectas by one state.[5]
 Trifectas Before and After the 2012 Election 

2010

See also: Democratic and Republican state government trifectas heading into the 2010 elections

Heading into the 2010 elections there were 25 total trifectas in the United States. After the election, there were seven new trifectas, bringing the total to 32 trifectas.

 Trifectas Before and After the 2012 Election 

See also

References