Just like 1994, the 2010 GOP wave that swept the South didn't stop with election night. A wave of party switches which helped pad the GOP's electoral gains in the months following the 1994 elections seems to be repeating itself.
Here's this fall's party-switching action:
- The most notable convert to GOP ranks was Scott Angelle, the Lieutenant Governor of Louisiana. He was joined by Louisiana State Rep. Walker Hines, whose switch gave the GOP a one-seat lead over the Democrats in that chamber, which is already presided over by a Republican Speaker.
- Following the GOP's upset takeover of the Alabama House and Senate, four House Democrats crossed over, giving the GOP a two-thirds super-majority in a chamber where it was the minority a month ago. Alabama state Reps. Alan Boothe of Troy, Steve Hurst of Munford, Mike Millican of Hamilton and Lesley Vance of Phenix City announced their plans to defect, citing a wake-up call from their constituents who went heavily for Republicans in most other races.
- Five Georgia State House Democrats also crossed over, further padding the state's already sizable Republican State House majority: Ellis Black, Amy Carter, Gerald Greene, Bob Hanner and Alan Powell.
With Republicans now holding either two or three of the "cards" (House, Senate and Governor) for reapportionment control in most of the southern tier states from Arizona to North Carolina (Arkansas, Kentucky, Mississippi, New Mexico are the exceptions), these switches may not be the last.