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When the Republican Governors Association holds its winter meeting in Washington, D.C., this month, it will be a full house. The party now controls more state governorships than at any time in almost a century while also having a friendly president and Congress.

“With 33 Republican governors, the most in 95 years, GOP chief executives are fired up to take action, reform their states and get results,” said RGA communications director Jon Thompson. “And now with Republican control of Washington, including a Republican in the White House, they are glad to finally have a seat at the table and have great hope that Washington will adopt many of the reforms they have championed in the states.”

Democrats don’t have as many reasons to be hopeful. In addition to losing the White House and being in the minority in both houses of Congress, they hold only 16 state governorships (Alaska Gov. Bill Walker is an Independent). Their state-level position is the worst it has been since the Civil War, as Democrats now have complete control — the governorship and both houses of the state legislature — in just five reliably blue states.

The New Republic described this statehouse stomping as “The Democrats’ biggest disaster.” Republicans have majorities in both legislative chambers in a number of important presidential swing states: Ohio, Florida, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, Minnesota, Wisconsin, Michigan, Virginia and Iowa.

President Trump won seven of these nine states last year and came tantalizingly close in the other two. That’s no coincidence. Trump’s campaign largely handed over its get-out-the-vote operation to the Republican National Committee and, to a lesser extent, the state parties. They delivered. Trump carried 31 states despite running 2 points behind Hillary Clinton in the national popular vote.

“Don’t like the Electoral College?” crowed a Republican strategist. “Too bad. Democrats aren’t even close to having enough state legislative seats to ratify a constitutional amendment that could do anything about it.”

Former President Obama’s strength in national elections did not translate well to down-ballot Democrats, especially at the state level. His party lost over 800 state legislative seats during his two terms in office, even though he won a majority of the national vote in both presidential elections.

Republicans invested heavily in state-level races during the 2010 and 2014 midterm elections, spending $68 million to pick up nearly two dozen state legislatures. This gave them control over redistricting in many states, which in turn will help protect the Republican congressional majorities.

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Kentucky Gov. Matt Bevin has signed legislation banning abortion after 20 weeks and requiring doctors to display ultrasound images to women seeking abortions. (AP Photo)

Liberals worry that Republican-controlled states will perpetuate their power by making it more difficult for Democratic-leaning constituencies to vote. Republicans argue that voter ID laws and other similar measures are necessary to prevent fraud, but progressives claim voter impersonation is rare and this legislation has disparate impact on poor and minority voters who are likely to cast their ballots for Democratic candidates.

“There were 25 debates during the presidential primaries and general election and not a single question about the attack on voting rights, even though this was the first presidential election in 50 years without the full protections of the Voting Rights Act,” complained The Nation’s Ari Berman.

Conservatives are eager to see Republican governors cut taxes, balance state budgets and enact market-friendly reforms. Eric Greitens was elected governor of Missouri in November. In the short time he has been in office, the Republican has signed an executive order freezing new regulations on business and legislation making Missouri the 28th right-to-work state in the country. These states forbid compulsory union membership or dues payment.

Kentucky Gov. Matt Bevin, elected in 2015, has signed legislation banning abortion after 20 weeks and requiring doctors to display ultrasound images to women seeking abortions. Bevin had less success rolling back Obamacare in the state, though he received a federal waiver to alter Kentucky’s approach to Medicaid expansion.

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Some of these governors are looking to Republicans in the nation’s capital to help them deliver. Others heading to the RGA meeting want to be a model federal Republicans can follow.

“Republican governors will gather and share ideas with each other, talk about the 38 gubernatorial elections occurring over the next two years and participate in policy panels on what’s working in their states and what Washington and the federal government can learn from their success in the states,” Thompson said.

Yet Republicans face some risk of being victims of their own success. Midterm elections frequently go against the president’s party. Trump’s approval ratings are low for the short amount of time he has been in office, though his numbers may be better in red states and among the older white voters who have decided the last two midterms. The GOP governors will try to be the face of the party in their own states, but Trump is a tough man to upstage.

In recent elections, Democrats have had trouble mobilizing their base in the off years. Maybe Trump will fix that for them as George W. Bush did in 2006, getting minorities and millennials to the polls. It’s worth noting, however, that he did not turn out these voters in large enough numbers for Hillary Clinton.

Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan has a job approval ratings above 70 percent. (AP Photo)

Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker, currently the RGA chairman, faced a backlash comparable to the anti-Trump movement when he reformed public-sector collective bargaining. Protesters poured into Madison, Democrats and liberal groups worked to recall Walker and government workers’ unions and organized labor more broadly made him their top target.

Walker won his election, beat the recall and won re-election anyway. In November, Wisconsin voted Republican in a presidential election for the first time since Ronald Reagan’s 49-state landslide re-election bid in 1984. Maybe the anti-Trump “resistance” will prove similarly futile.

Republicans gained plenty of governorships in states Trump lost, too. This includes Massachusetts, Maryland, Illinois and New Mexico. Some of these governors are quite popular. Massachusetts Gov. Charlie Baker and Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan both have job approval ratings above 70 percent. Clinton broke 60 percent of the vote in each state.

Mike Leavitt, a political adviser to Hogan, pointed to several of Hogan’s accomplishments: three balanced budgets without tax increases, moving Maryland from last to first in Mid-Atlantic job creation and record education funding. “Job creation is something everyone can agree on,” he said.

“I think the reason why Gov. Hogan has been and remains popular in Maryland is a relatively simple formula,” Leavitt added. “He says what he’s going to do and does what he says he’s going to do. He’s a straight shooter.”

One test will come in a state that is divided on Trump. Virginia will elect a new governor this year. Incumbent Democratic Gov. Terry McAuliffe can’t run again because the state doesn’t allow governors to serve consecutive terms, creating a GOP pickup opportunity.

Trump is popular in the southern and western parts of the state, but lost Virginia by 5 points because of a huge Democratic vote in the northern Virginia suburbs of D.C. To illustrate: Trump won 79.1 percent in Buchanan County but just 29.1 percent in Fairfax County. A successful Republican candidate for governor must always thread this needle, but perhaps more so with Trump in the White House.

The supermajority of Republican governors faces political challenges, but few of them would want to trade places with the Democrats.

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