Sharper State Divide in Congress Seen as ‘brand new Civil War’

Congress has been experiencing a rise in states represented by one particular party from the House along with Senate. The political news site Smart Politics found of which after the 2016 elections, 15 states sent delegations to Washington with members all via one party — double the number via eight years prior. Nine are Republican, six are Democratic.

from the others, one party typically dominates a state’s delegation. nevertheless even from the most lopsided groups, there are members via the different side scattered through the membership — Republicans outside the urban centers of Democratic states along with Democrats representing cities along with liberal enclaves of Republican states.

The diversity can provide benefits to both lawmakers along with their constituents. Majority parties have traditionally been reluctant to take too direct an aim at states where their numbers are lower since any repercussions could still hit their own members, often the most vulnerable to challenge.

On issues such as energy along with transportation, geography along with parochialism can trump party allegiance. Having members of both parties via a state rally behind a project can help build a bipartisan critical mass of support.


Representative Peter King, a brand new York Republican, in Washington in November.

Alex Wong/Getty Images

On a personal level, lawmakers of opposing parties via the same state can develop working relationships along with friendships while partnering on state issues, forging ties of which can pay off in different ways. Given the current level of partisanship of Congress, lawmakers don’t have many different chances to build strong personal bonds.

nevertheless the 2018 outlook poses problems for Republicans, who, like Democrats from the South in recent decades, could find themselves with reduced numbers along with influence in some regions of the country.

Take three states in particular. brand new York currently has 18 Democrats along with nine Republicans, California has 39 Democrats along with 14 Republicans, along with brand new Jersey has seven Democrats along with all 5 Republicans.

Those Republican numbers are required to shrink — perhaps significantly — from the November elections because of quite a few factors, including the brand new tax law. The law made quite a few adjustments of which will fall harder on these higher-tax states, particularly the brand new prohibition on the ability to deduct state along with local taxes above $10,000.

of which could result in a tax increase for homeowners from the Northeast along with California who might want to take out their unhappiness on Republicans — whether they voted for the brand new law or not. Elections held in 2017 have shown of which Mr. Trump’s low standing has already cost Republicans support via suburban voters critical to the Republican coalition.

Representative Peter T. King, a brand new York Republican who warned his party’s leadership about the potential tax law ramifications, said there would certainly be negative consequences as voters grappled with their tax situation.

“The tax bill will be going to hurt Republicans in brand new York along with brand new Jersey along with California,” he said. “of which will be definitely going to have an impact. We are going to spend the entire campaign defending ourselves against what our own party did. of which will be entirely self-inflicted.”

from the past, the party might have been inclined to take steps to protect incumbent lawmakers via areas where legislation would certainly have a negative impact on their voters. nevertheless Republican leaders eager for a long-sought tax cut seemed to consider the tax overhaul a higher priority than the political outlook for Republican members in higher-tax states, though they did adjust the state along with local tax proposal to try to limit the damage as well as find votes for approval of the legislation.

After the tax vote, House Speaker Paul D. Ryan canceled plans to raise money for a centrist brand new York Republican as punishment for opposition to the tax bill, a response of which penalizes a member of the speaker’s party just when help will be most needed to win re-election.

Mr. King said he was concerned of which states like his own could become represented by one particular voice. He said he would certainly like to think he would certainly feel the same apprehension if the roles were reversed along with of which was Democrats who were in danger of being pushed out.

“We need the clash of ideas,” said Mr. King.

nevertheless given the election outlook along with current trends, the biggest clashes to come in Congress could be between state delegations along with members who find they have even less to connect them than they do today.

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