USApp Managing Editor, Chris Gilson, looks at the week in U.S. state blogging. Click here for our weekly roundup of national blogs.
On Monday, Hut & Run writes that a District Court judge in Maine has ruled that Kaci Hickox (a nurse who returned from treating Ebola patients in Sierra Leone last month) poses no risk to the general public. They say that the ruling is a ‘rebuke’ to Maine Governor, Paul LePage who had previously boasted of his ‘robust authority’ to keep Hickox under home quarantine.
Heading west, Granite Grok reports on a visit from former Senator and Secretary of State to New Hampshire, ahead of the midterm elections. They say that Clinton’s arrival was met with protests, and that the Democratic event that she spoke at had a relatively low turnout given that she has not visited the Granite State in 6 years.
In Vermont this week, VTDigger looks at what the midterm election results will mean for the state’s path towards a single-payer healthcare system. They say that the defeat of Democratic Representative, Mike Fisher, who is chairman of the Vermont House Health Care Committee, and Governor Peter Shumlin’s narrow victory may make it more difficult to take the reforms forward.
Moving south to Rhode Island, WPRI writes that the state’s Democrat’s victory was one of their biggest set of wins since 1960. They say that for the first time in more than 50 years, Rhode Island’s Democrats won all nine major offices on the ballot.
For many, New Jersey GOP Governor, Chris Christie, is a bully. In an interview this week Christie reiterated that his confrontational approach would not change, even though it might affect his presidential chances, writes Crooks & Liars. Staying in New Jersey, Save Jersey looks at whether or not the state missed the Republican Party’s midterm wave, given that Democratic Senator, Cory Booker was reelected.
In Maryland this week, Crooks & Liars writes that the state’s voters have elected a ‘neo-Confederate’ to the Arundel City Council in the form of Michael Peroutka. They say that Peroutka believes that the purpose of government is to ‘enforce and obey God’s law’.
Heading over to West Virginia, Outside the Beltway reports that the state elected its first Latino member of Congress, Republican Alex Mooney. West Virginia is the least Latino state in the U.S., with the group making up 1.2 percent of the population.
On Election Day, North Carolina’s The Progressive Pulse says that if voters in the state are facing long lines at their polling places, then they should blame the state’s new ‘Monster Voting Law’, which ends straight ticket voting. This means that ballots now take several minutes to fill out, which causes voting to take longer, and hence longer lines.
Florida was one of several states this week which had the legalization of marijuana (in some form) on the ballot. SaintPetersblog reports that the measure to legalize the drug for medicinal purposes gained 57 percent of the vote, but was not successful, needing 60 percent to pass. They say that supporters of the measure raised nearly $200,000, which pales in comparison to the more than $6.3 million raised by those who opposed it.
On Wednesday, Crooks & Liars writes that voters in Alabama have passed a constitutional amendment which makes gun ownership a human right. They say that voters also passed a measure which amends the constitution to explicitly ban Sharia law.
In Louisiana this week, neither candidate in that state’s Senate race achieved 50 percent of the vote, meaning that there will be a runoff in December. National Review’s The Campaign Spot reports that the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee has cancelled its advertising in the state, worth $1.8 million, ahead of the runoff. They say that the Democrats it is not a surprising response by the Democrats given that control of the Senate is no longer at stake.
FiveThirtyEight takes a close look at the changing face of Texas, and whether or not it is turning into a winnable target for the Democrats.
Reflecting on the state’s midterm results, Ohio Daily writes that it was a disastrous election for Ohio women, given the reelection of Republican Governor, Governor John Kasich and Attorney General Mike DeWine, who both are known for their anti-choice policies such as reducing family planning budgets, and funding unregulated anti-choice crisis pregnancy centers.
Heading over to the Badger State, Uppity Wisconsin writes that it was one of the few states to see an increase in midterm turnout. They say that the Democratic gubernatorial candidate, Mary Burke gained 1,123,000 votes, which is around what current Scott Walker did in 2010. They say that most of the extra 300,000 votes ended up being for Walker. Staying in Wisconsin, Blogging Blue writes that with expanded majorities in the state capital, Scott Walker is now pushing for a wave of conservative legislation, such as expanding the school voucher program, requiring drug tests for those seeking food stamps and unemployment benefits, and further tax cuts.
Daily Kos writes on Wednesday that in Missouri a St. Louis Circuit Judge has ruled that the state’s ban on same-sex marriage is unconstitutional, and that St. Louis is already issuing marriage licenses.
As in many other states, Tuesday was a devastating day for Iowa’s Democrats. Bleeding Heartland looks at some of what could be considered to be silver linings from the elections, including that Democrats held their majority in the state’s Senate, and that the state’s Supreme Court is more likely to expand voting rights for thousands of non-violent ex-felons.
South Dakota War College looks at the fortunes of the state’s Democratic Party, writing that its ‘death spiral’ is continuing. They say that this week proved that people have no interest in putting the party’s liberal wing in charge, and that they may not even be a sustainable political party in the state.
West and Pacific
In Colorado this week, Peak Politics writes that Republicans were denied the statehouse, even though they gained 189,000 more votes than Democratic candidates did. They say that this is because of the Democrat’s gerrymandering of local districts in 2011.
Moving south, Blog for Arizona looks at why Democrats don’t win in the state, finding that it may just be down to the fact that there are nearly 180,000 more registered Republicans than Democrats in the state, and that the GOP are more effective at wooing ‘other’ voters than the Democrats are.
In the Golden State this week, Fox & Hounds looks at California’s ‘least amazing race’, the gubernatorial election between incumbent Democrat Jerry Brown, and his GOP challenger Neel Kashkari. They say that the media’s coverage of the midterms in California was incredibly meagre – 70 percent of Californians had no idea who the Republican candidate for Governor was. FiveThirtyEight looks at a ballot measure in California this week that would reclassify some drug and property crimes as misdemeanors, rather than felonies, which would help non-violent offenders to gain jobs. Meanwhile, The American Interest writes on California’s pension problems, saying that politicians are just postponing the painful day when they will need to be fixed.
Finally, The Mudflats rounds up the midterms in Alaska, writing that the state voted to legalize marijuana, raise the minimum wage, and add extra protection to sensitive ecosystems facing development. They say that it is ironic that the state’s voters also elected a majority in the legislature that supports none of the above ballot propositions.
Note: This article gives the views of the author, and not the position of USApp– American Politics and Policy, nor of the London School of Economics.
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