Election 2008: State-level politics show still-divided South, nation

Stateline.org has a useful map looking at partisan power at the state level after the 2008 elections.

This map, much more useful than the presidential red state/blue state fare we usually see, gives a much better sense of the contested and divided nature of partisan politics in the South and nation-wide.

As you can see, the most common scenario -- in every part of the country -- is party control is split among the governor and the legislative chambers. Exactly half -- 25 states -- are split between Democrats and Republicans; that's the situation in six Southern states (Alabama, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, Tennessee and Virginia).

Next are states with Democratic control in both the governorship and legislature. The South has three such states: Arkansas, North Carolina and West Virginia.

Total Republican control is the rarest -- only eight states after November 2008. Half of those are in the South (Florida, Georgia, South Carolina and Texas).