The Mountain States Colorado, Montana, Nevada, and Utah Ashley Crane, Adam Cupples, and Josh Lauren
Democratic Control of State Government
Democratic Control of State Assembly
National Partisan Trends
State Comparison Maps
Colorado Comparison 1960 2004 Red = Democrats Blue = Republican This comparison illustrates the increase in competitive partisan trends within the counties
Montana Comparison 1960 2004 Red = Democrats Blue = Republican This comparison illustrates the rise of the Republican Party within the counties.
Nevada Comparison 1960 2004 Red = Democrats Blue = Republican This comparison illustrates the significant shift and dominance of the Republican Party that has occurred within the counties.
Utah Comparison 1960 2004 Red = Democrats Blue = Republican This comparison illustrates the absolute Republican presence within the counties.
Percentage of State Government Liberalism and Citizen Liberalism
Colorado is a Republican state, but the Democrats often win important state elections.
The Republican Party has a strong grip on the state’s legislature.
From 1960 to 1996 Republicans controlled both houses of the Colorado General Assembly.
Political party organization is distinguished by the large role that rank and file party members play in nominating party candidates for political office.
Both the Republican and Democratic Parties are governed by a state central committee.
It appears that the Republicans are better organized than the Democrats on the state level.
Montana has a party system characterized by a high level of competition.
Both parties tend to have weak organizational infrastructure.
An indicator of the high level of electoral competition is found at the state legislative level.
From 1974 to 1992, 29% of state house seats and 33% of senate seats were won with less than 55% of the popular vote.
Montana may be evolving towards a less competitive future; the Republicans have controlled the Governorship since 1988.
Montana is one of a small number of states that has an “open” primary election.
State parties have been seriously undermined by the primary nomination device. Today, state parties are unable to formally control who may run as a candidate and in the case of open primaries, unable to condition who may vote.
For the most part, Nevada has produced traditional two party electoral outcomes.
Socioeconomic, demographic, and personality factors, in addition to natural resources such as silver have had a major impact on the state political parties. An example of this would be the Populist Party, which was labeled the Silver Party.
The Republican Party has grown substantially since 1972. Nevada has always been a conservative and highly individualistic state.
Nevada is the fastest growing state in the United States.
Both Republican and Democratic Parties use a three tier system of organization: precinct, county, and state.
Regional concerns effect nearly aspect of Nevada Politics. Both parties must balance northern and southern regional interests.
Political Parties in Utah are a product of a unique mixture of religious, economic, and political factors.
The Mormon church has a significant presence within the political culture of Utah.
The two most important developments affecting the parties’ organizational capacity have been changes in the state statutes controlling the parties and innovations in campaign fund raising and strategy that have filtered down from the national level.
The open primary system has helped the Republican Party gain control in state politics.
Both Republican and Democratic Parties are strongly influenced by factions and outside groups.
Both the Republican and Democratic Parties within the state have good working relationships with their national parties. For example, the national Republican Party provided expertise for fundraisers and telemarketing campaigns for the Utah State Republican Party.