We all know that monopolies are bad. But what about political monopolies? Is it bad for one party in government to have control for long periods of time? If so, New Mexico would be a good test case.
According to information from the NM Legislative Council Service going back to 1930 :
1. the last time the Republicans held a majority in the state house and senate at the same time was 1929 and 1930;
2. since 1930, the Republicans have held a majority in the state house on one occasion, 1953 and 1954;
3. since 1930, the Republicans have held a majority in the state senate in 1931, 1932, and 1986, and
4. the state senate was tied at 21 each in 1985, 1987 and 1988.
That is a pretty amazing run of dominance, but it may be coming to an end. Obviously, the New Mexico House is already very close and some think it could switch during the 2012 election cycle. The Senate is obviously in firm control of the Democratic Party, but high turnover rates in both houses have the potential to generate serious change. Also, as the Journal reported and I blogged about a few months back, the number of Democratic Party voter registrations in New Mexico is trending downward rather dramatically.
I was 11 years old the last time Republicans held even one of the two houses in the New Mexico Legislature. The Republicans held the House for the last time during Eisenhower’s first term.
Will the Republicans break through this year? I don’t know. Are they the answer to New Mexico’s policy woes? Maybe. Are political monopolies bad? Unequivocally, the answer is yes.
Note: RGF supporter Charles Sullivan provided much of the background research for this posting.