USA Today names Arkansas among a handful of states where one party is poised to control the executive and legislative branches of government.
For the first time since 1994, Democrats are poised to surpass Republicans in the number of state capitals where one party enjoys complete political control — holding the governor's mansion and both chambers of the state legislature.
Having the political upper hand in state capitals has enabled Republicans to draw congressional districts that are more favorable to their party's candidates, notably in Texas and Georgia.
It has also helped the party develop strong candidates for higher office. According to the non-partisan National Conference of State Legislatures, 57% of members of Congress started out as state legislators. ...
Michael Davies, of the Democratic Legislative Campaign Committee, thinks the increased interest is in part due to the role states are taking in issues such as immigration, the minimum wage and embryonic stem cell research.
"More groups are seeing more issues decided in state legislatures," he says. "More groups are figuring out that if you do something in one state, it really does tend to have a bandwagon effect."