The battle in the state capitals


Abby Rapoport thinks the real GOP victory in 2010 wasn’t in Congress, but in the gaining “control of 21 house and senate chambers” at the state level:

While Republican members of Congress were focused on blocking the Democratic agenda, Republican state lawmakers began to drive the national policy debate. They wasted no time slashing social programs, weakening women’s reproductive rights and collective bargaining, and creating new barriers to voting rights.

What’s more, she notes, the GOP bankrollers understand the superior return on investment of down-ticket races. She claims that “Republican groups, with their deep-pocketed backers, are aiming for a repeat performance in 2012″:

The outcomes will have enormous implications. States’ refusal to expand Medicaid could derail Obama’s health-care plan. Anti-immigration laws will continue to proliferate in the states while Congress hems and haws about comprehensive reform. Republican lawmakers will continue to push for charter schools and private-school vouchers at the cost of traditional public education. Fights over civil-rights issues like gay marriage and voting rights, not to mention women’s rights, will play out almost entirely in the halls of state capitols.

Via The Daily Dish.