Tuesday, November 7, 2006

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I live in a one-party state

So I went to vote this morning -- and discovered that a whopping three out of the 13 races had both a Democrat and a Republican running for office (and one of those was for Ted Kenney's seat, so it doesn't really count). A few of the minor state offices had a Green/Rainbow candidate as well as a Democrat running. Barney Frank was running unopposed.

How lopsided is this ballot? I remember there being more Republicans running in Cook County, for Pete's sake.

This leads me to wonder -- what's the most lopsided ballot in America this election day? Tell me, dear readers, how lopsided is your ballot?

posted by Dan on 11.07.06 at 09:08 AM


In Ohio and Michigan (my two homes) just about every race is hotly contested.

Come back to the midwest Dan, we are more balanced (although to be fair we do not have an ocean, which is a drawback).

posted by: save_the_rustbelt on 11.07.06 at 09:08 AM [permalink]

Despite Vermont's reputation as the 'People's Republic' the ballots were pretty balanced today. Dems and Reps on virtually every race, plus a smattering of Progs, Liberty Union (commies)and other small parties. Most of the races were contested and those that were not the candidates were running as "Democratic/Republican." Not sure how that works - sounds kinda kinky.

posted by: SteveinVT on 11.07.06 at 09:08 AM [permalink]

There is an advantage to that lop-sidedness. It forces the voter to actually educate themselves regarding the positions of the individual candidates rather than just choosing a "side."

Despite the fact that most politicians in Mass are Democrats (out of tradition more than anything else) they do fall on differing points of the left-right political spectrum albeit with a decent tilt to the left.

posted by: Pete on 11.07.06 at 09:08 AM [permalink]

In Texas, we have an interesting race for governor - otherwise, Tom Delay make it boring..... or tried to - the machine was refusing ballots this morning......

posted by: TexasToast on 11.07.06 at 09:08 AM [permalink]

I'm in a midwestern college town -- so, a Democratic city in a Republican county. The county ballot (judges, assessors and such) is severely one-party but the city ballot was two-party even though those Republicans will mostly lose.

posted by: arthur on 11.07.06 at 09:08 AM [permalink]

City Council
County Comissioner
US Representative

Not a Republican to be found for any of those four races. Not that I'd vote for them if there were, but it's good to have a contested race to keep the politicians on the up and up.

One party rule sucks at the local level as well as the national level. The only thing worse than one party rule is one party Republican rule.

posted by: uh_clem on 11.07.06 at 09:08 AM [permalink]


After a few years, you'll learn that Massachusetts does have Republicans (and not just its Governors) running and holding state office. They just all adopt the Democrat party, thus in MA you actually have a republican wing of the democrat party (e.g. Thomas Finneran, the recent and *very* powerful speaker of house: very pro-business, fiscally conservative, and socially conservative)

posted by: jprime on 11.07.06 at 09:08 AM [permalink]

I don't think we've had a Republican in local Seattle office for 20 years at least. Of course we have many "business-oriented" Democrats who are happy to subsidize big business. Of course they do so out of a Democratic mythology that the more government involvement the better.

There are many Republicans in the suburbs and in the rural parts of the state they reign supreme.

posted by: David Sucher on 11.07.06 at 09:08 AM [permalink]

My local borough has an interesting variation on this - the local school board election almost always involves the same five people running under both parties, so you can vote for Joe as a Republican or Democrat, but there is still no competition. (Of course this is mainly because of the amount of effort it takes to get anyone to actually agree to be on the school board, a truely thankless job). Otherwise pretty much everything is contested in the fall, just on the off chance that people will change their minds (we had a 10yr+ seniority Borough Council president turned out in one election for no real reason other than he took the election for granted.)

posted by: phwest on 11.07.06 at 09:08 AM [permalink]

I nominate my locale as most lopsided. Ward 1 in DC. Mayor: no real contest against Fenty. Delegate: Only one candidate on ballot. DC Councilman: Only one candidate on ballot.

posted by: Howard on 11.07.06 at 09:08 AM [permalink]

Madison, Wisconsin has non-partisan elections, but at the county level there are two major parties - Democrats and Greens.

posted by: Brian Ulrich on 11.07.06 at 09:08 AM [permalink]

Sorry Dan, New York City takes it this year. Clinton, Spitzer, and as per usual no competitive Congressional races. Even Alan Hevesi who faces corruption charges will be re-elected and Andrew Cuomo (a non-practicing attorney) will become our Attorney General despite little legal experience.

For some additional insight into the Republican reaction to this election, please check out http://holdthesenate.blogspot.com/ where I posted on the Republican base and this election. My basic point is the base wants too much.

posted by: Ian on 11.07.06 at 09:08 AM [permalink]

Mr. Drezner,

Back here in Cook County on this midterm election day it is more of a precoronation ceremony than an actual election.

posted by: Tim Schau on 11.07.06 at 09:08 AM [permalink]

Having lived (and voted) in Massachusetts and now going to school here in Chicago, I can understand where you're coming from Dan. The only major difference I can see here in Chicago is that the Republicans actually try to fill their spots on the ballot in Illinois. Granted, this year they are filling them with University of Chicago students. The Republican nominee for State Senate on the South Side is a U of C economics student and the President of College Republicans. The Trib proclaimed him the "Doogie Howser" of this years campaign. Needless to say, he won't be getting too many votes. At least they run candidates in Chicago though...much better than my wonderful home state.

posted by: Tom on 11.07.06 at 09:08 AM [permalink]

I am Indiana and there were a number of races with no Democrats running. Richard Lugar has NO Democrat running against him. How many Senators are running with no major party opposition even on the ballot. I voted Libertarian, not because I dislike Lugar, but because I believe in opposition.

posted by: Keith on 11.07.06 at 09:08 AM [permalink]

It seems strange that Indiana also gives Rock Star status to Lugar's counterpart, Evan Bayh. I think he usually wins by huge margins, although he has to face opponents.

posted by: jeremy on 11.07.06 at 09:08 AM [permalink]

Try voting in Boston. It was the strangest feeling to walk into a voting booth in 2004, with all the hubbub about the election, only to find one "competitive" race (Bush v. Kerry). The rest were unopposed.

posted by: Bill N on 11.07.06 at 09:08 AM [permalink]

When I lived in Boston, I had the choice of Tip O'Neill or a Communist, and I do not mean that metaphorically. The only competing candidate was the Communist Party's nominee.

posted by: Virginia Postrel on 11.07.06 at 09:08 AM [permalink]

I just voted in Houston, Harris County, Texas; I'm in Shelia Jackson Lee's district. There were 56 uncontested races on my ballot -- all Republicans running unopposed. In about 5-6 more, the only opposition candidate was a Libertarian. Most of these races were for judgeships at various levels. I didn't count the total number of races, but my guess is that, in addition to 60 or so I've already mentioned, there were no more than 35 contested races.

posted by: Phil on 11.07.06 at 09:08 AM [permalink]

Hi Dan,
In Pennsylania we have both Don Sherwood and Rick Santorum on the ballot, the best argument yet for Democrats running unopposed. It's enough to drive a poor Republican girl to drink. By the way, we can't buy wine at the grocery store here, either.
Melissa Scalera

posted by: Melissa Scalera on 11.07.06 at 09:08 AM [permalink]

I live in North Texas and in local elections we have a one party state too - except it is Republican. None of the local elections even had a Democrat on the ticket.

And of course state-wide the Republican governor and Senator were re-elected. My local Republican Congressman was also re-elected.

posted by: Dan Morgan on 11.07.06 at 09:08 AM [permalink]

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