In Tuesday's election, two-thirds of the 60 U.S. House seats switching from Democrat to Republican were in congressional districts with the most rural voters. And it was no coincidence.
Two issues rules this election – job creation and budget cutting. Nobody knows more about austere budgets than voters of rural America. That's one reason why polling site turnouts of eligible voters were substantially higher in rural areas than metro areas.
Newt Gingrich, former speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives, says it was the largest swing in the U.S. House of Representatives since 1948. The accompanying map developed by the Center for Rural Strategies tells the story.
Blue districts on the map were Democratic before Tuesday’s election and Democratic at day’s end. There are 22 rural Democrats who survived the 2010 election to serve another term. The dark red rural districts began the day with Democratic representatives, but ended the evening with freshly-elected Republican members of Congress.
Light red districts were Republican districts that didn’t change with the election. There were 64 solidly Republican districts out of the most rural 125 districts.
Some 39 rural districts switched from Democratic representation to Republican. These account for 65% of the 60 seats Republicans captured from Democrats. How many Republican rural districts flipped Democratic? Not one, report CRS analysts co-editors Bill Bishop and Julie Ardery in the Daily Yonder web site.
State turnover as well
According to the Republican State Leadership Committee (caucus of state leaders), the GOP also took control of 19 state legislative chambers with the election of over 500 new Republicans to state houses across the country. That's the largest GOP gain in state house seats in history.
The GOP will control the Minnesota Senate for the first time in the state's history, and will hold majorities in the Alabama and North Carolina legislative chambers for the first time since the 1800s. Republican gubernatorial challengers earned victories in 10 states, including key swing states of Florida, Illinois, Iowa and Ohio.