Quietly, under the news radar, with all of the big churn stories about shut downs, foreign policy insanity and the 2020 candidate roll outs, despite the media bothsidesing every damn thing, the strength of the Democratic message has continued to resonate in statehouses around the country. In one of the signs of the GOP apocalypse, Republicans with a conscience have switched parties.
Over the past two months, as lawmakers were sworn in and this year’s statehouse sessions got underway, Republicans in California, Kansas and New Jersey switched their party affiliations to become Democrats.
They cited various reasons, but the party-switchers have one thing in common: They say the GOP under President Donald Trump has become too extreme.
One of the little mentioned stories of the GOP takeover of statehouses during the Obama years, when wonks cite the around 1,000 seats that switched from D to R over those years, is how many of those were not electoral losses but individuals switching parties to catch up to the political currents in places like Alabama and West Virginia. Into the 2000s those states were still vestigially Democratic on a local and voter registration level, but wildly Republican on the national electoral level. During Obama’s 8 years hundreds of conservatives from the South finally made the formal move over to the Republican Party.
By the same token, places like California, Virginia, New England, etc. shed Republicans slowly, but in 2018 there was a big blue anti-Trump churn that continues and promises to carry through 2020 as well.