The following is an excerpt from ALEXANDER BURNS and ALAN BLINDER | February 3, 2018 | Nytimes.com |
NEWTOWN, Pa. — For Republicans in the states, the political warning signs keep mounting: In Virginia, it was an electoral shellacking that nearly snapped their 20-year grip on the State House. In Wisconsin, it was a midwinter rout in a special election for the State Senate, fought in a conservative district.
And in Pennsylvania, it has been an exodus of state legislators from the Philadelphia area, where more than half a dozen Republicans have opted for retirement over a strenuous campaign in 2018.
“It looks like it’s going to be a war zone,” said State Representative Gene DiGirolamo, a moderate Republican, of his native Bucks County, a spacious suburb on the New Jersey border.
As national Republicans dig in to defend their majorities in Congress in the midterm elections, party leaders across the country have grown anxious about losses on a different front: state legislatures. Over the last decade, Republicans have dominated most state capitals, enacting deep tax cuts, imposing new regulations on labor unions and abortion providers, and drawing favorable congressional maps to reinforce their power in Washington.
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