The State and Local Elections:
Politics Beyond the Beltway
Malcolm E. Jewell
IN 2000 THERE WERE GUBERNATORIAL ELECTIONS IN ONLY eleven states. (Most states elect their governors only in nonpresidential years.) There were state legislative elections in fourty-three states; this includes Michigan, which elected only house members, and excludes Nebraska, which has nonpartisan elections. New Jersey, Virginia, Mississippi , and Louisiana elect legislators only in odd numbered years, and Maryland and Alabama elected all members in 1998 for four year terms. The legislative and gubernatorial elections assumed greater importance than usual because in most states redistricting of congressional and legislative districts, based on the 2000 census, is carried out by the legislature, subject to approval or veto by the governor. In forty‐ two of the states voters were also confronted with a total of about 200 issues on the ballot as well.
We will describe the gubernatorial elections first, and then analyze the changes in party control of seats in the state legislatures. Then we will summarize some of the more important results of the voters' decisions on ballot issues.
Gernerally speaking, gubernatorial elections have become more independent of national trends than used to be the case forty or fifty years