Democratic governors lose their grip as Republicans nab supermajorities


Republicans already dominate state legislatures but the scope of their power has reached a new level.

More than half of all state legislatures have become so lopsided that House speakers and Senate presidents can neutralize veto pens, and it’s shifting the center of policymaking. So while President Joe Biden and Republicans in Congress sink each other’s agendas in Washington, the rest of America is living in an era of supermajorities — and the GOP controls more than twice as many as Democrats.

Republican lawmakers in Kansas and Kentucky have bypassed governors and used their power to enact new restrictions on transgender athletes and gender-affirming care. In North Carolina, they rejected Democratic Gov. Roy Cooper’s veto on a bill this month repealing a pistol permit requirement, the first override in five years. Then, in Tennessee, Republicans flexed their power against fellow legislators by expelling two Democratic members for participating in a gun violence protest on the state House floor.