In 2018, the National Party lost their outright majority in the state House of Delegates of West Florida for the first time since 1988. Unionist leader Stacey Abrams (who just recently took over after former leader David Baria resigned his position to successfully run for the Senate) became the new Speaker of the House with support from the Parti La Louisiane and their leader Dale Guillot who became Deputy Leader of the House. The Unionists were able to ride the coattails of presidential candidate Mitch Landrieu who narrowly carried the normally National state. The Unionists and the PLL were also able to ride off the long dissatisfaction of the state's National government, which also helped John Bel Edwards to defeat governor Bill McCollum three years earlier. The State Senate wasn't up for election in 2018 and remained with a National majority. The National Party did however gain the Lt. Governorship in 2018 as incumbent PLL Lt. Gov. Caroline Fayard also successfully ran for Senate only 3 years into her term with her position being filled by the President Pro Tempore of the Senate as dictated by the West Florida Constitution, National member Victor Gaston.
In 2018, Missouri held elections for both chambers of its General Assembly. In Missouri, despite being a swing state between the Nationals and the Unionists in statewide elections, the Nationals have not held power in either chamber of the Assembly in nearly 20 years. Since the 2000 elections, the Assembly has been controlled by a power-sharing agreement between the Unionists, the Parti La Louisiane, and the Social Democrats, known as "The Coalition". The strength of the Coalition has largely been attributed to the PLL winning voters that would otherwise vote for the Nationals, despite the Missouri PLL being the most liberal state PLL party in the nation. The Social Democrats also do very well in Missouri elections, winning in the heavily minority areas in St. Louis and near the SDP ancestral base in and around Kansas City where the Socialist Party (the SDP's predecessor) first emerged.
First we have Adlai Stevenson I who is famous for being the shortest serving president in the history of Dixie. He was elected to the vice-presidency the same year as Democratic Virginia Senator John Daniel was to the presidency in 1904. Stevenson would not run for president or reelection come 1910. In the 1910 Presidential Election Populist William Jennings Bryan would win the presidency, however just 5 days before Bryan's inaguration, Daniel would die of a brain hemorrhage causing Stevenson to serve just the remaining 5 days of his predecessor's term. Stevenson's extremely short time in office even beat Zachary Taylor who died just 8 days into his term after he caught a stomach bug at his inauguration dinner. Stevenson would be the only president in Dixie history to never have a vice president while in office. Stevenson's grandson Adlai Stevenson II would also serve as president being elected in 1958, but he too would not serve full term due to him dying in a plane crash in 1961.
House of Delegates member George Clooney would be elected to Kentucky's 22nd district in 2012 following his father's retirement from that seat. Clooney has quickly risen up the ranks in House leadership and is now the Chair of the House Unionist Caucus- the 4th highest member of the House Unionists, after Speaker Heath Shuler of North Carolina, Chief Whip Jim Clyburn of South Carolina, and Assistant Speaker Dina Titus of Georgia. Clooney has been mentioned as a possible speaker in the future should Shuler step down for some reason.
In the 2018 Arkansas State Legislative Elections, the once Unionist bastion of Arkansas continued its shift toward the National Party. The state which used to be safe for the Unionists started its National trend in 2006 when John Edwards (despite winning the presidency) became the first Unionist presidential candidate to fail to carry the state in the second round against Arkansas governor Mike Huckabee. Jim Webb and Mitch Landrieu in 2012 and 2018 also failed to carry the now safe National State. Mark Pryor despite being a senator from Arkansas even narrowly failed to carry the state in his 2012 VP Election win (becoming the first VP to win the VP election w/o carrying the state).
The Nationals in 2018 widened their narrow majority in the State Senate and the PLL continued to gain ground in the state since the party first began to seriously contest Arkansas state elections since 2009. In the State House (which uses nested districts), the Nationals gained their first National majority in the chamber in over a century. Since the 2015 election the Nationals had governed with help from PLL member David Desmarais to gain a majority.
(if you're wondering of the about the popular vote disparity, the number is based off the results of the second round election where in the Senate the Nationals failed to make the second round in 2 districts to the Unionists 1. In the House, the Nationals failed to make the second round in 12 districts and the Unionists in 3.)
In 2018, the Parti La Louisiane kept their status as the largest party in both chambers of the Louisiana state Legislature. In the Senate, which has 6-year terms, the PLL kept their majority as Senate president pro tem Eric LaFleur was elected governor to replace Governor Mitch Landrieu, who was elected president the same year. In the House, which has 3-year terms, the PLL lost the absolute majority they gained in the 2015 mid-terms to the rising Unionists largely on the coattails of Landrieu's large win in the state. In both elections, the PLL still struggled to gain ground in the mostly Anglo North Louisiana, the largely African New Orleans (despite being mostly francophone as well), and the very conservative New Orleans suburbs.
In 2018, Mississippi held its elections for both houses of its state legislature. Mississippi is the only majority black state in Dixie making up 52% of the population, and it is also the most Unionist state in Dixie. Unsurprisingly in this heavily Unionist state, the Unionists kept their large majorities in both chambers. The Unionists have drawn the districts for both houses in their favor and to weaken the Nationals as much as possible, ensuring super-majorities for their party in the state legislature.
Despite having a vice-grip on state politics, there are still divisions within the Unionist Party largely along racial lines. There have been several very bitter fights within the Unionist primaries for statewide office between the more left-leaning black members and the more moderate white members of the dominant party. In the state legislature, this division still exists dividing the members of the legislature. Though for the past couple decades there has been an unofficial truce between the two where the state House of Delegates would elected a black Speaker and the state Senate would elect a white President pro tem. One area where the two factions are in lockstep are in their dislike of the Nationals, so the two routinely draw district lines in their favor in the state legislature (where they aren't as heavily monitored by the Redistricting Act of 1983). Even with a 10 point swing towards the Nationals, the Unionists would still hold 2/3's super majorities in both chambers.
In 2018, Virginia held elections for its State Senate and House of Delegates. In the Senate, which uses the same boundaries as the state's Congressional districts, the Unionists gained an absolute majority in the chamber for the first time in this formerly National-heavy (but now safe Unionist) state. This majority would not last very long as in 2019 the Unionists would lose the 35th district to the Nationals in a special election. In the State House, which has multi-member districts with each Senate District being given 2 members. The Unionists would expand the absolute majority that they gained in a special election 2 years prior. The Unionists in these seats where certainly buoyed by the gubernatorial and presidential elections who both over performed the state legislators overall.
Huey Long and the Birth of the Unionist Party Pt.1
Following the results of the 1937 midterm elections, the inability of the 2 factions of the Democratic Party (the Populist-Progressives on the left and the New Jacksonians on the right) to work with each other or the National or Socialist parties threatened to bring down the entire government of Dixie. The Dixie House of Delegates ground to a halt and prevented hardly any action from being levied against the ongoing economic crisis that had been raging in the country since 1936. Displeasure with the current government was reaching a fever pitch in Dixie. Incumbent New Jacksonian Democratic President Carl Vinson who was first elected in 1934 had authorized the use of force to put down what he called "dissidents" taking part in protests, demonstrations and strikes.
In the upcoming 1940 Presidential Election, as President Vinson was ineligible for a second term, Vice President Ellison Smith of South Carolina was the favorite candidate of the New Jacksonian Democrats. The Populist-Progressives however began to coalesce around former Governor and Senator Huey P. Long of Louisiana for the Democratic nomination. 6 years earlier Smith had defeated Long for the Vice Presidential Democratic nomination. The battle for the presidential nomination at the 1940 Democratic Convention in St. Louis would be incredibly fierce. Supporters of both candidates would spend the entire convention viciously attacking each other and backroom deals that tried to settle the disputes quietly all eventually failed. In the end, the Convention would narrowly choose Smith to be the Democratic nominee for president. The Convention would also nominate Senator Pat Harrison of West Florida, an ally of the Populist-Progressives, to try to alleviate the anger from the left-wing faction, but this did little to help. Long after losing the nomination would call the Democratic bosses "corrupt to their bones" and announced that he would run for president as an independent with support from many Populist-Progressives. The Nationals were hoping to capitalize on the disunity among the Democrats and would nominate Delegate B. Carroll Reece of Tennessee for president. The Socialists who had received a huge swell in support since the election of Vinson and the economic crisis would make their biggest play for the presidency nominating Socialist House Leader Delegate James P. Cannon of Missouri for president.
Long would start the campaign as a large underdog. Many thought that Long would have no chance to make the second round and might even serve as a spoiler for Smith leading to a Reece-Cannon second round, the worst case scenario for the Democrats. Long however proved to be a very effective campaigner and would soon begin to foster a considerable amount of support, largely made up of poor white Democrats that were sympathetic to the Populist-Progressives and traditionally National voters in the upper Appalachians that the Socialists had hoped they could win but found Long very appealing. Long would mix the campaign styles of several parties, the Populist agrarian rhetoric that the Democrats had adopted after the fall of the Populist Party, an isolationist view with the ongoing chaos raging in Europe of the Nationals, and the class based attacks against the rich that the Socialists used. In the first round, Long would end up narrowly beating Reece for second place and would move on to the second round against Smith. This would be the first time that the Nationals would fail to make the second round in a presidential election.
Long and Smith would enter the second round scrambling to gain the Reece and Cannon voters that were now left without a candidate. Long would target the National state of Virginia the most of any in the second round. It was the most populous state in the country and Long hoped that a strong performance in the socialist friendly western part of the state as well as its cities would be enough to carry Long over 50% to a victory overall. Smith would hope that the conservative Nationals would not be able to stand Long enough to vote for him and would instead choose the more conservative of the two candidates to give Smith the presidency. Long would end up defeating Smith by a little over 200,000 votes becoming the first and only Independent president and the first non National or Democratic president since William Jennings Bryan in 1910.
In Congress, the Democrats would keep their majority in the Senate and would regain their majority in the House of Delegates bring somewhat of an end to the disaster that was the 1937 House of Delegates. With the retirement of Hatton Sumners as Speaker, the Democrats would choose Populist-Progressive William Bankhead of Alabama to be Speaker giving the faction a major win in Congress. In the Senate however, the New Jacksonians still ruled with Harry Byrd of Virginia serving as President pro tempore.
Another victory for the Populist-Progressives would take place in the Vice Presidential election where Pat Harrison would win against the National candidate Joseph Shaffer of Virginia. Once inaugurated, Harrison and Long would work surprisingly well together, and Harrison became the mediator between President Long and the sometimes hostile Congress. Harrison would act as a moderating force to Long bringing much of Long's more controversial ideas into line with that of Congress. For many, it seemed that Long's independent presidency was just a novelty and was just a signal that the Populist-Progressives would be the new dominant force in the Democratic Party. However, these thoughts would not last for very long. In June of 1941, Vice President Harrison would unexpectedly die, and the battle to name his replacement would end up tearing apart the Democratic Party forever.
Huey Long and the Birth of the Unionist Party Pt.2 (Pt.1)
Through the first year of the President Huey P. Long's term in office, him and the Democrats in Congress worked decently well with each other. Despite being elected as an independent, Long had mostly governed like a Democrat in office (thought much more to the left than any Democrat before him). With the left-wing Populist-Progressive faction of the Democrats being dominant in the House of Delegates (first electing William Bankhead of Alabama as Speaker and then Sam Rayburn of Tennessee following Bankhead's death in 1940), negotiations between them and the president usually went along well. But in the Senate, the right-wing New Jacksonian Democrats held the power. Vice President Pat Harrison using his position as President of the Senate served as the negotiator between President Long and the conservative Senate with its leader President pro tempore Harry Byrd. However the relation between Long and the Senate would completely fall apart in 1941 following the death of VP Harrison in 1941.
Should there be a vacancy in the Vice Presidency, the Dixie Constitution states that the President appoints the replacement and if they are approved by the Senate, then they become VP for the rest of the term. Byrd, now the acting President of the Senate, made it very clear to Long that the new Vice President would not be as left-wing as Long or the Populist-Progressives would want. Instead Byrd recommended that the President appoint Georgia Senator Richard Russell, one of the most conservative Democratic senators, for VP. Long of course would not take the New Jacksonians' demands lying down. Long would instead nominate 6 different candidates to the position over time, all of which were close allies of Long and all of which were unpalatable to Byrd and the New Jacksonians. These included Long's Secretary of State, Cordell Hull, Hattie Carraway of Arkansas, the first woman elected to the Senate, and Earl Long, President Long's own brother. All of the nominees would fail to be approved of by the Senate and all by Hull would never even come up for a vote on the floor. Long who hadn't attacked the Democrats much since his election to the presidency would begin a campaign attacking the New Jacksonians and the Democratic party leadership that opposed his appointments.
On December 2, 1942, well over a year with no Vice President, Long would make his famous "Union of the People" Speech in Richmond calling for his supporters to break away from the Democratic Party to fully assert that their movement could not be stopped by the right-wing Democrats in the Senate. This speech is generally marked as the birth of the Unionist Party, though it would not get its name that day. Almost immediately after the speech was given, Long supporters would begin filing for the upcoming 1943 midterm elections not as Democrats but as a litany of different names such as Populist-Progressives, New Populists, Longist Democrats, United Populists, and several others. The name of the Party would not come until February of 1943 when Jamie Whitten of Mississippi would win a House special election under the party identification of the Unionist Party, becoming the first Unionist elected to Congress. This special election would receive much attention from the press and the Unionist Party would become the name that Long supporters would use. In the months leading up the midterms, Long would almost completely abandon his role as president, leaving much of the day-to-day up to Secretary Hull to run. Long would spend the time instead traveling around the country campaigning for the new Unionist candidates.
In the midterms, the Unionists would upend the makeup of Congress. In the House of Delegates, John Overton of Long's native Louisiana would be the first sitting Democrat to switch parties over the Unionists in February and would be the first leader of the Unionists in the House. The Unionists would gain 60 seats in the chamber, the largest gain ever made by a party in the House of Delegates. The new Unionist bloc would make a deal with Speaker Rayburn to keep him as Speaker, but after the election many Populist-Progressive Democrats would switch over to the Unionists leaving Rayburn further on the fringe of an party growing ever more conservative.
In the Senate, Democratic Delegate Estes Kefauver of Tennessee would switch to the Unionists and run for the Senate in Tennessee. Him along with 15 others would win seats to the chamber and would deny either major party the chance to hold a majority. Like in the House, after the election several Democratic senators would also make the jump over to the Unionists, bringing their numbers even higher. Kefauver and the Unionists unlike their fellow Unionists in the House would instead decide to ally with the Nationals in return for National support for the approval of a new Vice President. Henry Jackson Short of Missouri would be elected as the new president pro tempore to replace Byrd, and the Senate and Long would eventually agree to support Senator Alben Barkley of Kentucky to be the new Vice President. On November 3, 1943, Barkley would be sworn in as the new Vice President two and a half years after the death of Pat Harrison. Barkley would go on to succeed Long as president becoming the first Unionist elected to the position. Long, not one to give up power easily, would run for Vice President after his one allowed term as president was up (there are rumors that Long chose Barkley to succeed him as president because Barkley's advanced age would give Long a chance to serve as president again, but Barkley would live through his entire 6 year term and then die two years later). Long would continue to be elected to the term limitless position until his death in 1966 (he would serve as president again from 1961-1964 after the death of President Adlai Stevenson II).
In 2018, Kentucky held elections for half of its Senate and all of its House of Delgates districts. The Unionists took control of the House of Delegates but failed by just one seat to gain control of the Senate. As Unionists hold the Lt. Governorship of KY, they would have control of the chamber in the case of a tie. Kentucky, once one of the Unionists' strongest states, has shifted into a swing state in recent decades at every level.
The Republic of Texas is a Unitary Presidential Republic that won its independence from Mexico in the 1830's & 40's. The young republic fought a long and hard-fought war for their independence and them attempted to join their neighbor to the east the Federated States of Dixie, however, the threat of another war with Mexico spoiled any potential union for the Dixians. Opposition in Dixie led by then-president Henry Clay and his National Party prevented Texas from joining.
Texas modeled its new government off of Dixie except with a 3-year presidency with no term limits and a Senate that was originally appointed by the president and approved by the House of Delegates. The Senate is now elected by Proportional Represent with lists chosen by the parties of which in Texas there are only 2 major ones: the Democratic Party (which gets its name from the Dixie Democratic Party) with Sam Houston as its first major politician and the Liberal Party which is descended from Stephen Austin's Republican Party.
Lyndon B. Johnson is the longest serving president in Texas history winning an unparalleled 6 consecutive presidential elections starting in 1955 until his death in 1973 where he was succeeded by Senate President Ralph Yarborough. Johnson is one of the most popular presidents in Texas history being known for greatly expanding voting and civil rights for racial minorities as well as passing wide sweeping welfare and healthcare programs.
In recent years Texas has been controlled by the Democratic Party. Since the retirement of Liberal president Ann Richards in 2002, the Democrats have controlled the Presidency, the Senate, and the House except for 2009-2012 with a Liberal House and Liberal Chris Bell as the president.
In the 2018 Elections, the Liberal Party and their leader Ben Ray Luján of Santa Fe while failing to secure a majority, managed to gain back much of the ground that they lost in the 2015 Democratic landslide year. However most of the seats that they gained weren't in the rural areas that they held six-years ago, they were instead mostly in the larger cities of Houston, Dallas, Austin, and San Antonio (places that had once been Democratic strongholds) showing a shifting electorate of cities moving towards the Liberal Party.
In the 2019 federal election, Prime Minister Mike Madigan's Labor Party lose the majority that they won 5 years earlier, but would still remain the largest party at 262 seats leading to the first hung parliament in America since 1991. Despite trailing to the Liberals in the weeks leading up to the election, Labor outperformed their polls and was able to keep their losses to the Liberals small enough to retain their status as the largest party in Parliament. However the surge in support of the right-wing Democratic People's Party and the left-wing Progressive Party, prevented any party from achieving a majority in the House of Commons. This is the first election in American history where 5 different parties all won at least one province-wide popular vote.
Labor campaigned throughout the election on the healthy state of the economy and against the "extremism" of the DPP and the Progressives. The Labor campaign rarely ever spoke of the Liberal leader Rob Portman at all, instead focusing on attacking DPP leader Sarah Palin and painting her as the kingmaker should the Liberals gain the most seats in Parliament but not a majority. PM Madigan however was largely absent from the campaign trail. The PM despite his party's favorable ratings was deeply unpopular and instead chose to send out his cabinet ministers to campaign events for him. The other parties of course did not shy away from attacking the Prime Minister with each party leader making continuous attacks on The Velvet Hammer. Palin and Sanders would particularly attack the PM with both calling him a corrupt, out-of-touch, backroom dealer who has been able to rule Parliament has his personal fiefdom for too long. When the possibility of a hung parliament began to reveal itself, Sanders was asked if he would enter into a coalition with Labor and he responded, "With Labor, maybe. With Madigan, no."
Following the election, Madigan would attempt to form a government, but would realize that his options were limited and would resign as Prime Minister shortly thereafter.
Contribution: Daily Mining Gazette (Houghton, Superior based newspaper) 10/4/2019 reporting on MGA Greg Markkanen challenging Energy Minister Scott Dianda for his seat in the upcoming federal election (approved by Roxy)