Thursday, August 17, 2006

NCSL Presentation on 2006 Election Outlook

A presentation yesterday by Jennie Bowser of the National Conference of State Legislatures on the "state election outlook" noted that this year may see more state ballot initiatives than any since the mid-1990's, when term limits and tax issues became causes that frequently became fodder for citizen initiated ballot measures. Twenty-four states allow citizen ballot initiatives.

Common issues on ballots this year will include land use questions raised in response to the Supreme Court's Kelo decision and taxing and spending issues along the lines of the taxpayer bill of rights language that has been adopted in Colorado and elsewhere.

At the same meeting, Tim Story of NCSL presented information that showed that this would likely be a tough year year for Republicans in state elections even without the low standing of the national GOP. Of nine open gubernatorial seats up for election this year, eight are currently held by Republicans, including those in Democratic-dominated Massachusetts and Rhode Island. In addition, with the exception of 2002, in every Presidential midterm election since 1942, the President's party has lost seats in state legislatures.

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