By Hudson Crozier
What’s happening: Republican-controlled state legislatures have some of the least conservative voting patterns in the country, according to an analysis by The Daily Wire. In contrast, states with slim Democratic control manage to achieve numerous legislative victories for liberals.
Extreme examples: “South Dakota, North Dakota, Idaho, and Oklahoma all are more than 80% Republican-controlled, but their brand of legislating ranks among the least conservative in the country—at 36th, 37th, 31st, and 35th.” In Wyoming, the reddest state in the country, House Republicans failed to pass a school choice bill this year because Republican Speaker Albert Sommers let it die in committee.
There are many reasons why this happens. Some think that Republicans in these states hide their moderate agenda until they're elected or that Democrat voters take advantage of open primaries by helping to elect moderate Republicans. Powerful liberal donors and lobbyists also incentivize legislators to reject conservative bills. And establishment GOP party leaders and governors often ignore key legislative goals or give Democrats powerful positions such as committee assignments.
Will things change? Even though Florida isn’t a historically red state, Republicans under Gov. Ron DeSantis have governed the way most Democrats do: passing bold legislation as long as they have a majority without fear of controversy. As Republicans in other states follow his lead on issues like parental rights in education, his influence is currently the biggest catalyst for change.