Our friend Tom Cotton writes to report on the Arkansas edition of this series:
The Wave beached hard in Arkansas Tuesday night too. The common theme was, “first time since Reconstruction.” Republicans went from a 1-5 deficit in the congressional delegation to a 4-2 majority, the first time they’ve had a majority since Reconstruction. Republicans also won three statewide constitutional offices — Lt. Governor, Secretary of State, and Land Commissioner — the latter two for the first time since Reconstruction. And Republicans went from 28 to 44 state House seats (out of 100) and from 8 to 15 state Senate seats (out of 35), both the largest numbers since, yes, Reconstruction. Finally, Republicans won dozens of local races across the state in many counties where Republicans have never held office.
In other words, the Wave brought the two-party system to our state, the last Democratic stronghold in the South. As my father, a lifelong (conservative!) Democrat asked, “What in the world is going on?”
Tom doesn’t mention the decisive defeat of Blanche Lincoln by John Boozman, a race that turned out to be one of the surest Republican pickups this right from the get-go.
UPDATE: Professor Donald Gooch notes: “Actually, [Tom} did mention the Boozman win. He just didn’t do it explicitly. Arkansas has 4 congressional districts, which means our total congressional delegation is 4 + 2 senators = 6. We went from 3 D’s in the House and 2 D’s in the Senate (5 to 1) to 3 R’s in the House and 1 R in the Senate (4-2).”
PAUL adds: Since the early days of Power Line, I’ve insisted that the Republicans have a natural majority in the Senate. In a “50-50” election, the presidential race goes to a recount while the House splits down the middle and ultimately goes to the party who has won the redistricting battles. But in the three cycles necessary to populate the Senate, “50-50” elections go to the Republicans due to the equal representation of small, mostly Red, states.
Yet, Arkansas and North Dakota have two Democratic Senators (until January), Montana has two, South Dakota has one, Nebraska has one, and Indiana has one (until January). Over the next two cycles, assuming Republicans can maintain something close to 50 percent status or better, the Senate should come to reflect its natural Republican majority.