North Carolina Republicans are bragging that they won the media cycle on the state budget- well congratulations on that. It's pretty easy when you're the minority party in the middle of a recession to just sit back and grandstand and make cute statements to the press. There were no easy solutions for the Governor or legislative Democrats, and there was pretty much no way whatever they came up with was going to be popular.
Here's my big question: what impact is all of this going to have on campaign contributions next year? Democrats have traditionally had a major fundraising advantage over Republicans for legislative elections, in large part because the business community doesn't consider the GOP vision for running the state to be very practical and thus donates heavily to Democrats, who have been pretty friendly to business. Are this budget and other things that have happened in this session going to result in a narrowing of the fundraising gap or is it going to be the same old story?
Barack Obama's popularity will drive the results of next year's legislative elections more than any other factor. But if it's a relatively neutral election year and Democrats continue to have a lot more money they're going to be able to tell the story they want to- and that will likely continue the trend of Republicans at the state level having lots of nice sound bites and very little power.