My husband argues that, no matter how beastly things look in the federal elections, there's an encouraging red wave at the state level. I'm skeptical whether that's enough, but he's clearly right about the breakout of some kinds of conservative principles in state houses, many of the sort that probably won't even be overturned by federal courts or Congress. In Nevada, for instance, the governor has just signed several bills calculated to give Harry Reid hives. A new school choice program will put 90% of the average cost of public schooling into parents' hands for any educational purpose they choose, including tutoring or private school tuition (the percentage goes to 100% for certain disadvantaged students). A few other states have programs that venture a bit in this direction, but are strictly limited to students with disabilities or students in schools formally identified as "failing." Nevada's experiment in school choice is wide open. My own governor is about to sign an open-carry and campus-carry law.
At the same time, blue cities are revolting against red legislatures, thus setting up an entertaining argument over whether too much local control leads to patchwork regulatory systems, with some conservatives taking the pro-uniformity position.