The blue wave isn’t over: Democrats pick up state legislative seats as Republicans switch parties

Democrats have picked up six Republican state legislative seats since November’s elections, without another election being held. Republican legislators in California, New Jersey, and Kansas have switched parties, citing the party’s extremism under Donald Trump.

In California and New Jersey, the party-switchers joined the majority, possibly easing their own re-election prospects and gaining some access to power. But in Kansas, four Republicans switched to the minority party. “The Republican Party, for all of its statements of having a big tent, continues to limit the tent,” one of them said. “Those of us who were moderates are clearly not welcome.”

The most recent party flip came from New Jersey Republican state Sen. Dawn Marie Addiego, who sounded a similar note, saying, “My core values that originally drew me to the Republican Party have not changed, but the party which once echoed the vision of Ronald Reagan no longer exists.” She, like all four Kansas flippers, lives in a congressional district that went blue in November—and she had been seen as a potential Republican congressional candidate.

In California, Assemblyman Brian Maienschein said he disagreed with his former party on immigration, health care, gun control, abortion, and gay rights … which is a long list of not-trivial issues.

While one Democrat has turned Republican, in Oklahoma, Republicans have to look at this phenomenon and see a bad sign for 2020.

Daily Kos Elections is tracking party switches, so you can keep up with the action, too.


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