Once a week, a new poll comes out declaring that Republicans and/or Donald Trump are historically unpopular. Fine. We've discussed the problematic record of pollsters here.
While polls do tend to be good indicators of public opinion trends, facts and hard data are a better representation of reality as it stands.
Trump and the Republican Party have been on a tear of electoral victories at virtually all levels of the ballot box. Many inside the chattering-class wish to toll the death knell of the party still. They decree that Republicans will face an enormous backlash in 2018 at the ballot box for their legislative floundering and Trump's antics.
However, as the map begins to develop for Democrats, chances of taking back or even holding their numbers inside either chamber are beginning to look more and more grim in an election which was already an uphill slog.
Here is a handicapped report from CNN about the Senate, published on Wednesday:
The across-the-board primary battles are complicating what should be a hugely advantageous map for Republicans. Democratic senators are running for re-election in 10 — that's right, 10 — states that President Donald Trump won in 2016. The GOP, meanwhile, only has two members who currently look like they could be in real jeopardy.
At stake is control of the Senate, where the GOP currently holds 52 of 100 seats.
The Democrat representation problem from a local level on up is not only an uphill climb, it's an Everest Summit-level climb. Democrats have eroded their representation on a local level beginning with Obama's first midterm election. Over 1,000 seats have been lost nationally by Democrats, including the U.S. Senate, U.S. House and state chambers across the country.
With the governor of West Virginia switching parties, Democrats hold a record-low number of governorships. They also control a record-low number of trifectas. Having single-party control of state governorships and legislatures is referred to as a trifecta.
The maps below, via The Washington Post, are helpful visuals of trifectas around the country.
The Washington Examiner notes that, given the above data, nearly 50 percent of all Americans live in a state that has complete GOP control:
With tonight's switch by West Virginia Gov. Jim Justice from Democrat to Republican, the GOP expanded its dominance of state governments.
The Republican Party now controls the governorships and the state legislatures of 26 states (including Nebraska's supposedly nonpartisan legislature). Altogether, the populations in these states account for 48 percent of the U.S. population, according to 2016 Census estimates.
I wanted to extrapolate on that just a bit. America is a big country. How much land mass, as a portion of the whole, do the Democrats control without GOP representation? How much of our country could a liberal move to without having to experience partial or complete Republican control of the state?
The Answer: Democrats control 7.2 percent of America's land mass.
Here is the math in square miles, based on this chart outlining state sizes:
USA: 3,797,000 mi²
California: 163,696 mi²
Oregon: 98,466 mi²
Hawaii: 4,028 mi²
Connecticut: 4,844 mi²
Delaware: 1,953 mi²
Rhode Island: 1,044 mi²
Total: 274,031 mi²
274,031 is 7.2 percent of 3,797,000.
Only 7.2 percent of America's land mass is controlled by Democrats.
So ask yourself next time you hear a doom and gloom poll for conservatives: if the GOP is so unpopular, why do the Democrats control so little?
Please note: This is a commentary piece. The views and opinions expressed within it are those of the author only and do not necessarily reflect the editorial opinion of IJR