We all know how devastating the loss of the presidency is to Democrats, particularly when combined with Republicans holding the Senate and House.

But, it was equally bad, if not worse, for Democrats at the state level.

In the past 8 years Republicans have made devastating gains at the state level, taking over numerous state houses and other statewide offices, and state legislatures. It’s been the equivalent of washing the sand out from under the Democratic political house, depriving Democrats of a training ground in which to grow future leadership.

It not only impacts a myriad of social and economic policies, but also various states-rights issues and redistricting.

This election cycle continued the trend. The Hill reports, GOP makes big gains at the state level:

Republicans expanded their ranks of governors, winning Democratic-held seats in Vermont, New Hampshire and Missouri. The party also made gains in state executive offices and in legislatures across the country.
By Wednesday morning, Republicans had won control of the Iowa state Senate, the Kentucky House and the Minnesota state Senate.

Democrats gained enough seats to pick up control of both chambers in Nevada’s state legislature, as well as the New Mexico state House. North Carolina Attorney General Roy Cooper (D) leads Gov. Pat McCrory (R) by just 5,000 votes out of more than 2.5 million cast; the Associated Press has not called that race.

The results mean Republicans appear likely to have added to their already considerable power in the states, riding a wave of populism headed by President-elect Donald Trump….

If current results hold, Republicans will control 69 of 99 legislative chambers across the country. Democrats will control only 30, the same breakdown as before voters went to the polls.

Republicans defended virtually every state legislature where their narrow majorities were in peril. The party appears to have preserved narrow one-seat majorities in the New York and Washington state Senates, both chambers in which a Democrat caucuses with Republicans to give them control. Republicans also defended slender majorities in state Senate chambers in Maine, Colorado, New Hampshire and West Virginia.

In two of the three states where Republicans won new majorities — Kentucky and Iowa — GOP victories mean the party will control both chambers of the legislature and the governor’s mansion. In Minnesota, Gov. Mark Dayton (D) now faces a Republican legislature for the final two years of his term.

This map (pdf.) by ALEC , which advocates for conservative and free market policies at the state legislative level, demonstrates how deep Republican control is at the state legislative level:

https://www.alec.org/press-release/free-market-and-limited-government-principles-prevail-across-the-nation/

In much of the country, particularly the South, Democrats are “basically extinct” at the state level.