Guide Red on Blue: Establishing Republican Governance

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Since the United States presidential election, red states and blue states have referred to states of the United States whose voters predominantly choose either the Republican Party (red) or Democratic Party (blue) presidential candidates. . There are several problems in creating and interpreting election maps. Popular.
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His lopsided victory over a Hispanic woman was particularly noteworthy because, in addition to being a white male, he emphasized border control, pledged to abolish sanctuary cities, and opposed in-state tuition for illegal immigrants. Exit polls showed Patrick getting 46 percent of the Hispanic vote overall and actually beating Van de Putte 53 percent to 46 percent among Hispanic men. He even outperformed Abbott among Hispanics, though Abbott ran Spanish-language campaign ads emphasizing his marriage to a Latina.

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The results demonstrate the deeply ingrained conservative culture in Texas, even among ethnic minorities. Texas even has a constitutional cap on statewide government spending increases, limiting them to the estimated rate of economic growth. S tatewide policies—combined with abundant oil and gas reserves—have created a booming Texas economy in recent decades, with lots of jobs, affordable homes, and inexpensive electricity. Often a harsh critic of conservative policies, Grieder nonetheless concluded that the Texas model—low taxes, low spending, and low regulation—works. The Texas model has clearly and incontrovertibly worked.

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  6. As the post-tech-crash recession wracked most of the U. The roaring economy and attractive business climate also lured employers from other states especially Democrat-dominated California to relocate their operations here. Texas weathered the financial crisis and subsequent downturn better than any other state, creating 40 percent of all U. Its remarkable growth enabled it to gain four additional House seats in the last redistricting. Not all the population expansion was due to newcomers: Texas has the second-highest birthrate in the country, after Utah. Urbanization is a relatively new phenomenon here.

    As recently as the mids, the state was sparsely populated and predominantly rural. Indeed, Texas is now one of the most heavily urbanized states, with 85 percent of its residents living in or near cities. Those metropolitan areas, along with tech hub Austin 11th , are among the most dynamic and rapidly expanding cities in America. All four enjoyed double-digit job growth from through , well above the national average.

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    People still move to the Lone Star State primarily for opportunity jobs and land affordable homes. Many young families settle in suburbs surrounding the major cities, which—as in the case of Williamson County outside Austin, Montgomery County outside Houston, and Collin County outside Dallas—are solidly red. The most significant demographic factor among the recent arrivals, though, is arguably not their state of origin which varies over time , or race, or ethnicity, but their age.

    Census data indicate that young people aged 25 to 34 make most moves.

    Democratic Party

    And these millennials, coming to Texas in droves, exhibit political attitudes and voting patterns strikingly different—i. Recent trends in municipal governance reflect this shift. S pending is getting out of whack, for starters. No longer just an oil town, Houston has become a sprawling behemoth, with more than 2.

    How North Carolina Turned So Red So Fast

    Between and , the Houston metropolitan area added more people than any other U. The 1. Turner narrowly prevailed over Bill King, who had run on a plan to institute a defined-contribution pension plan for new government employees. Turner will have a hard time providing basic city services—from fixing potholes to maintaining public safety—in the face of an impending budgetary calamity.

    Local elected officials with the complicity of hired-gun actuaries try to minimize and obfuscate the magnitude of these liabilities through accounting gimmicks and rosy projections regarding future investment returns. Ultimately, the extent of the underfunding gets exposed, but usually long after the responsible officials have left office.

    Taxpayers are left facing sharp tax hikes or cuts in municipal services, or both. In extreme cases, as in Detroit, San Bernardino, and Stockton, cities are forced to file for bankruptcy under Chapter 9.

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    4. The city faces other fiscal woes related to employee pay. Three years ago, Dallas officials restored so-called step-pay increases—automatic annual pay hikes based on years of service—to police and fire workers during negotiations with the union. The irony is that local Texas governments use copious amounts of taxpayer money—which finances TML—to lobby the state legislature to permit them to impose more taxes and regulations. State senator Konni Burton, a Tea Party favorite from Fort Worth, has proposed legislation to bar the use of taxpayer funds for lobbying purposes.

      The Texas comptroller recently reported that state property taxes are rising 2. Cities are extending boundaries to expand their property-tax base, plundering the more affluent surrounding suburbs. A recent study by WalletHub estimated that Texas homeowners pay, on average, a real-estate-tax rate equal to 1. Perhaps most startlingly, Texas is way out of step with most Republican-leaning states. The state has always been socially conservative it was one of the last to adopt a state lottery and liberalize the sale of alcoholic beverages , but the new Republican majority has also tacked to the right on economic policy.

      It has reduced spending on public education, rejected Medicaid expansion, cut unemployment benefits, repealed the Earned Income Tax Credit, passed billions of dollars in tax cuts and rolled back hundreds of environmental regulations.

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      Paul Stam, the speaker pro tem. Many of those at-will employees, who are expected to show political loyalty, are concentrated in the Department of Environment and Natural Resources, the agency responsible for overseeing the disposal of waste from companies like Duke Energy, where McCrory worked for 28 years.

      A massive coal ash spill into a North Carolina waterway near the Virginia border earlier this year has raised questions about how the Republican legislature and governor approach environmental regulation and the way agencies run. Environmentalists have found groundwater contamination elsewhere and attempted to sue a number of times since January for the removal of leaky coal ash ponds, only to be stopped by the department, which has the authority to effectively preempt citizen legal action.

      The department eventually proposed a settlement last year with Duke Energy that included a modest fine and no requirement to clean up ponds that are contaminating nearby water supplies. Tom Apodaca, a six-term Republican who has taken leading roles on major legislation. His only vetoes last session came against a bill allowing drug testing for welfare recipients and against another expanding the period of exemption from employment eligibility checks for seasonal workers.

      The legislature easily overrode both vetoes. Before that, it added new abortion restrictions to a motorcycle safety bill that McCrory ultimately signed, although it toned down the abortion language when the governor threatened a veto. District leaders in Wake County, home to Raleigh, have blamed those changes and stagnant pay for a 41 percent increase in teacher turnover in the past year. Josh Stein, the Democratic whip. North Carolina was one of only eight states that reduced funding for higher education last year as states sought to reverse years of cuts, according to the left-leaning Center on Budget and Policy Priorities.

      Over the same period, tuition at state schools has jumped more than 30 percent. For Republicans, higher education spending had long been too high, and they point to per-student subsidies that ranked among the highest in the nation. There are a couple of reasons for that. The first is that corporations could see an immediate upside to lower taxes, at least in the short term. The second, says veteran political journalist Rob Christensen, is that the corporate leadership in North Carolina is no longer homegrown.

      To be sure, though, there have been voices of caution. Among the most prominent is Republican U.

      They need a future workforce that has the skills and knowledge. With the sudden shift to the right and the growing number of independent voters in North Carolina, pollsters and political consultants are asking when -- or if -- the tide will roll back toward Democrats.

      The hard edge that you’re settling for

      Independents, who are typically younger and less ideological in North Carolina, now make up a growing share of the electorate. At the same time, Republicans controlled the redrawing of district maps after their win, allowing them to create a favorable legislative landscape for the following decade. The most important election this year in North Carolina -- and perhaps the country -- is between Speaker Tillis and Sen. Hagan, who will try to make the case that Tillis has led an extremist legislature in dismantling valuable government initiatives.

      Will there be any movement to dial back the rightward shift from last session, one reporter asked, particularly on Medicaid expansion and unemployment insurance? Tillis welcomed attention from the national media. But can Republicans continue to govern a balanced state, one with a growing number of unaffiliated voters, from the far right?