One-Party Control of 37 States Leaves Politicians To Rein In Their Own Allies

And the crazy runs deep in both major parties


In November, Democrats won the Colorado House away from Republicans and held their majority in the Senate. In doing so, they achieved every state party's aim: to hold the governorship and both houses of the legislature simultaneously. But for governors, especially ones with moderate inclinations, one-party control can come with headaches and hard choices.

When legislative power is divided, as it was the last two years in Colorado, any bill that makes it to the governor has to be the product of a bipartisan compromise. In contrast, when their own party rules the legislature, governors sometimes have to pick between disappointing their allies and diminishing their reputations as conciliators — all because legislators of their own party send controversial bills to their desks.