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posted: 11/19/2012 2:17 PM

Powerful supermajorities elected to statehouses

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  • Illinois Speaker of the House Michael Madigan, left, speaks with Illinois House Minority Leader Tom Cross on the House floor during session at the Illinois State Capitol last May.

      Illinois Speaker of the House Michael Madigan, left, speaks with Illinois House Minority Leader Tom Cross on the House floor during session at the Illinois State Capitol last May.
    ASSOCIATED PRESS

 
Associated Press

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. -- If you think the presidential election revealed the nation's political rifts, consider the outcomes in state legislatures.

The vote also created a broader tier of powerful one-party governments that can act with no need for compromise. According to figures compiled for The Associated Press by the National Conference of State Legislatures, half of state legislatures now have veto-proof majorities, up from 13 only four years ago.

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Illinois will be among those states, in this case having a Democratic supermajority once its newly elected members are sworn in. And all but three states -- Iowa, Kentucky and New Hampshire -- have one-party control of their legislatures, the highest mark since 1928.

Thad Kousser is a political science professor at the University of California-San Diego. He says a partisan tide usually helps the same party across the country. But this election was the opposite, with some states getting bluer and some getting redder.

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