2008 Election Tidbits

A recent article in State Legislatures magazine, titled "The Perils of Success," outlines the respective battles going on at the state level throughout the country. I found the following passage to be most interesting:

The last time Democrats controlled more than 23 states was before the 1994 election, when Republicans walloped Democrats by seizing the majority in 21 chambers. Currently, Democrats have a 57 to 39 edge in control of individual chambers. There are two legislative bodies that have an equal number of Republicans and Democrats — the Oklahoma and Tennessee senates.

History suggests that success for either Senator John McCain or Senator Barack Obama will produce a coattail effect. Since the 1940 election of Franklin Roosevelt, the party winning the presidency has gained legislative seats in 11 of the 17 elections. That trend did not hold in 2004 when Republicans suffered a net loss of 25 seats despite George Bush’s reelection. On average, the party that wins the White House adds more than 125 legislative seats to its column.

Going into this election, there are 3,993 Democratic legislators — almost 55 percent of all seats held by the two major parties. There are 3,310 Republican legislators — 45 percent of the total. Only 21 legislators are independent or from other parties.

In Indiana, Democrats currently control the House by a slim 51-49 margin.

McCain/Obama and Small Business Issues

BusinessWeek recently took a look at how John McCain and Barack Obama stack up on small business issues, noting that small business owners and employees make up nearly a third of registered voters:

Despite recent outreach efforts by both men, some 80% of entrepreneurs could not name any ways in which either candidate says he will help small businesses, according to a poll of 400 business owners conducted by Suffolk University for turnaround specialists American Management Services. With small business owners and their employees representing 32% of all registered voters, that’s hardly a block of voters either candidate can afford to lose.

See a graphic table featuring the candidates making their trademark hand gestures here.