'Political Downsizing': Coming to States?

 

Much has already been made of New Jersey Gov. Jon Corzine's (D) Election Day loss to challenger Chris Christie (R) - and what it means for incumbents heading into next year's busy gubernatorial election season.

With 37 seats up for grabs and the recession likely to dominate candidates' discourse, incumbent governors do seem vulnerable.

Indeed, days after Corzine's defeat, one more incumbent governor - Connecticut's M. Jodi Rell (R) - surprised observers by announcing she would not seek reelection , further shrinking the number of gubernatorial elections in which incumbents are still in the running.

While there seems to be a "throw the bums out" mentality building among voters - a new Pew Research Center survey released Wednesday (Nov. 11) found just that - USA Today highlights a more aggressive approach being taken by some voters .

"Discouraged by unemployment and depopulation and frustrated by politicians' inability to solve either, voters aren't just throwing the rascals out of office - they're throwing out the offices," the paper reports, spotlighting a trend in western New York State in which voters are reducing the ranks of their own representatives by eliminating seats on town councils.

In an era of "Tea Party" tax revolts across the nation, will the movement spread to statehouses?

Noted anti-tax activist Grover Norquist doesn't think so, according to USA Today : "If five guys won't stare down the unions or not replace some retirees, why will three?" Norquist said. "New Hampshire has more legislators than California, but it has lower taxes."

 
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