How Republicans win in the Northeast

WashExaminerCoverI wrote the cover story in this weekend’s Washington Examiner magazine, about why the Northeast continues to elect Republicans as governor (and not to many posts other than that). The cast of characters includes newly elected governors Larry Hogan of Maryland and Charlie Baker of Massachusetts, Thomas Dewey, Chris Christie, Rudy Giuliani, William Weld, George Pataki, Mitt Romney, and Christine Todd Whitman.

It’s a particular honor that political analyst Michael Barone wrote a piece riffing on my article and going into more detail about the reformist origins of the GOP tradition in states like New York, and its continued importance as a brake on both self-dealing and fiscal profusion:

Why have Northeastern electorates, so heavily Democratic in presidential and congressional elections, been willing to elect Republican governors so often? Because that’s the only way to prevent their heavily Democratic legislatures from taxing and spending their states onto the road to bankruptcy for the benefit of the public employee unions. That’s something that Thomas Dewey, a light spender unlike Rockefeller, would approve and understand.

Most of my essay is about politics and policy, but here’s a bit related to law:

Northwestern law professor and Federalist Society member John McGinnis says [New York Gov. George] Pataki’s “most impressive act” was one that was hardly noticed at the time and yielded no electoral benefits, namely his appointment to the state’s highest court of Robert Smith, who “became one of the great state court jurists of his time.”

More on that: Ira Stoll. I blogged a bit more about Gov. Larry Hogan’s victory in my election night post, and much more at my Maryland blog Free State Notes.

One Comment

  • While I enjoyed the article, I believe the data does not support its premise, ie, that Republicans can win statewide in the Northeast. First, Dewey was elected over 60 years ago, and Giuliani was elected due to 9/11, and Weld and Whitman were elected almost 20 years ago. The 2 most recently elected, Hogan and Baker, won by extremely narrow margins over flawed Democratic candidates. Furthermore, not one of these persons would be considered even moderately conservative and would be considered Democrats in any other part of the country. I do not believe a conservative Republican could be elected to any major office in New England (except, perhaps, New Hampshire in an off-year election), New York, New Jersey, Maryland or Delaware. I honestly believe that any Republican currently considered a possible presidential candidate in 2016 will lose every one of these states, having about as much chance of winning there as either Hillary Clinton or Elizabeth Warren have of winning my home state of Texas.
    By the way, in my opinion the real reason behind Obama’s amnesty for illegals is to add millions of voters for the Dems in 2016. Even though the law in every state bars noncitizens from voting, when these illegals go to get drivers licenses or apply for welfare the unionized clerk will hand them a “motor voter” registration form which does not state that you must be a citizen to vote. The only way to stop noncitizens from voting is voter ID and we know how the racially-biased Holder Justice Dept (see,eg, no prosecution of videotaped New Black Panther voter intimidation in 2008) is trying to block voter ID laws. There are at least 1 million noncitizens voting in California and nothing is done about it.