Legislatures of 13 states - just enough to block ratification - are unlikely to approve the proposed constitutional amendment that would give the District of Columbia full voting representation in Congress, according to a survey of all 50 states by The Washington Post.
Regionalism, racism, sexism, conservatism and resentment of the federal bureaucracy are among the primary reasons the proposal currently lacks enough support to become the 27th amendment to the U.S. Constitution, the survey found.
The proposed amendment, which passed the Senate on Aug. 22 by a vote of 67 to 32, requires ratification by three-fourths or 38 of the state legislatures within seven years.
In addition to New Jersey, which ratified the amendment Sept. 11, 17 other states are listed as likely to ratify - possibly including Pennsylvania and Michigan this week - and 19 states are uncertain.
The states unlikely to ratify, the survey shows, are: Alabama, Arizona, Illinois, Louisiana, Mississippi, Montana, Nevada, New Mexico, Oklahoma, South Dakota, Utah, Virginia and Wyoming.
In addition to New Jersey, Pennsylvania and Michigan, the states likely to ratify are: Alaska, California, Connecticut, Hawaii, Iowa, Kansas, Massachusetts, New York, Ohio, Oregon, Rhode Island, South Carolina, Vermont, Washington and West Virginia.
Among the 13th states where prospects of passage are dimmest, all out Illinois are in the South or West, reflecting off repeated concerns that awarding two senators and at least one House member to the city of Washington would diminish the influence of those largely rural conservative sections of the country.
In Illinois and Arizona opponents of ratification are aided by liberals who vow to work against any further changes in the Constitution until the Equal Rights Amendment is ratified.
Sue Dye, House majority whip in the Arizona legislature and a Democrat with a liberal reputation, said "Why should we let 800,000 Washington, D.C., people into the Constitution when there are still 100 million women who are not in?" (Washington's population, in fact is 690,000).
Of the 13 states listed as unlikely to ratify, nine are among the 15 states that have not ratified ERA.
Three of those same states, Nevada, South Dakota and Wyoming, are among the seven that have populations smaller than the District of Columbia.
Larry Williams the Republican candidate for the U.S. senate in Montana, summed up the oppostion voiced in several western states. "All we need in the federal government is more liberal Eastern urban senators and congressmen to tell Montanans how we ought to live and think," he said. Ratification would mean seating representatives "who will vote against increased farm prices and for more wilderness . . . The next thing we'll have is gun control if it keeps going."
Montana's Gov. Thomas L. Judge, a Democrat, put it more succinctly: "Why should we give more votes to the East?"
Racial implications of the issue cut both ways.
In South Carolina, for example, Rep. Robert Woods, chairman of the 13-member black caucus in the House, said that all 46 state senators are up for reelction in 1980. With blacks making up 30 percent of the registered voters in the state, Woods said, "we're going to put all out political leverage on them."
The foul-up in counting votes in the recent D.C. mayoral election could become an issue for those making private anti-black arguments. One opponent said it would be "blantantly racist" to inject the election mess into the ratification process. But then he chuckled and added. "Of course I can't prevent the AP from sending those stories out all across the land."
In Texas, Ruben Bonilla, director of United Latin American Citizens, the largest Mexican American civil rights goup in the state, opposes ratification.
"It may be selfish," Bonilla said, "but giving the District of Columbia two U.S. senators would give blacks a disproportionate advantage in lobbying for federal jobs and programs over Hispanics," who according to Bonilla will be the nation's largest minority by 1980.
Texas State Rep. Ben Reyes, a Mexican-American, dismisses Bonilla's views, however, as "childish and warped."
The reapportionment of the House of Representatives that will occur after the 1980 census could be another factor in a few states.In Tennessee, the Congressional delegation is expected to be increased from eight to nine seats. If giving Washington a House seat would deprive Tennessee of its additional seat, ratification there would be in jeopardy, according to State Rep. Harper Brewer, the black House speaker pro-tem.
The belief that U.S. employes would be the controlling voting bloc in the District of Columbia was mentioned by a number of legislators as a reason for opposing ratification.
Florida House Speaker-designate J. Hyatt Brown (D-Daytona Beach), who is undecided, wants to know how many potential District of Columbia voters are federal employes.
"If it's a substantial percentage, on anything to do with the federal bureaucracy, those senators and representatives would not be able to vote their consciences or their constituents would throw them out. I am concerned about any elected person who is totally locked into any one thinking process," Brown said.
Finally, the continuing furor over ERA has made many legislators relucant to act quickly. Indiana's Senate majority leader, Republican Martin K. Edwards, said "any constitutional amendment no matter how uncontroversial, will receive extra scrutiny."
D.C. Del. Walter E. Fauntroy, a leader in the ratification effort, said he was "pleased that you found no more than 13 states unlikely to ratify."
Fauntroy said he is optimistic that "once we begin the educational campaign that will do away with the generalizations that have no basis in fact," the drive for ratification will succeed within two years.
(The outlook for ratification is not as poor as was the fight to get the resolution through Congress, Fauntroy said.
"No one believed it could be done. They joked about it," said Fauntroy, who is widely credited for shepherding the proposal through the House and Senate, where two-thirds majorities were required.
As far as the ballot-counting problems in the mayoral election are concerned, Fauntroy said, "I am sure those who are vehemently opposed to ratification and who intend to work against it will utilize that."
Here is a state-by-state look at the issue:
Unlikely - To the extent that ratification becomes a racial issue in Alabama, difficulty of passage increases. Although blacks speak with a powerful voice in state politics, their impact on individual legislators remains minimal.
Likely - The D.C. amendment is likely to get a sympathetic hearing in January. Rep. Clark Gruening (D-Anchorage), said it would be "extremely hypocritical" for Alaskans to oppose it. Arguments against ratification are "similar to those made against Alaskan statehood," he said.
Uncertain - No sponsor has emerged in either House, and the issue could get lost in January in the face of the mayor state issue of whether to remove sales tax on food and drugs. U.S. Sen. Dale Bumpers, who voted for amendment, could be influential.
Unlikely - Rep. Larry Bahill (D-Tucson) will introduce the resolution in mid-November, but outlook for passage is slim in conservative dominated legislature. House Speaker Frank Kelley (R-Scottsdale) says "western states would not want to dilute their position in Congress."
Likely - Despite a setback in the Senate last month, ratification in January seems assured. The resolution won overwhelming approval in the Assembly, and had more than a simple majority in the Senate, which is enough to ratify next time when a two-thirds vote will not be required to suspend the rules.
Uncertain - Gov. Richard D. Lamm has not given it any thought. House Speaker Ron Strahle opposes ratification. He sees it as a Sun Belt-versus East Coast issue. Session beginning in January.
Likely - Bipartisan support appears to assure ratification when legislature meets in January. State Sen. Joseph I. Liberman (D-New Haven) will prefile the resolution and Senate President Joseph J. Fauliso (D-Hartford) predicts quick action. GOP State Chairman Frederick K. Biebel says minority also will support.
Uncertain - The abortive attempt to win ratification during a one-day special session on Aug. 31 may not hurt in January, but the failed effort to chances when the legislature resumes make Delaware the first state to ratify gave an indication of the problems. The resoltution failed in the House, 16 to 21, with two abstentions and two absent.
Uncertain - Senate President-designate Philip D. Lewis has not studied the issue and wants his staff to research it. House speaker-designate J. Hyatt Brown is undecided, but is concerned that D.C. representatives might be too oriented toward public employes.
Uncertain - The racial issue is the key to the amendment's fate in Georgia. Atlanta political consultant Ray Abernathy thinks white politicians can vote for ratification because "it's foreign. It's up there. It's an easy vote." But rural whites solidly control the legislature, with only 21 blacks among 180 House members.
Likely - Before statehood, Hawaiians lived nearly 60 years with federal taxes and no voting representation in Congress. Hawaii's traditional support for civil and minority rights - it was the first state to ratify ERA - is expected to result in easy ratification after legislature convenes in January. Tr for ad 21.
Uncertain - Democrat Gov. John V. Evans "probably will support" ratification, but this is one of five states where Republican control both houses of the legislature, and also where ratification requires a two-thirds vote. Tr for ad 22
Unlikely - Sen. Terry Bruce, assistant majority leader, says unhappy liberals vow they will not vote for any constitutional amendment until ERA is passed. Even though ERA has received a simple majority seven times, Illinois is one of the few states where amendments require three-fifths approval.
Uncertain - Ratification could depend upon the balance of power in the legislature, after the election. Democrats now control the Senate by 28 to 22 while Republicans control the House, 52 to 48. One Democratic leader says "the justice of it would generate support." But GOP legislator predicts that "it could replace ERA as the hottest issue before the legislature."
Likely - Regardless of which candidate wins in November, Iowa's governor will be an enthusiastic supporter. Incumbent Republican Gov. Robert D. Ray sponsored a resolution at the National Governors Conference last month that urged ratification. His Democratic opponent, Jerome Fitzgerald, worked in the 1971 campaign of D.C. Del. Walter E. Fauntroy.
Likely - House Majority Leader Patrick J. Hurley (D-Leavenworth) forsees bipartisan support. Republican Gov. Robert F. Bennett, seeking reelection, is sympathetic, and thinks the proposal will have "no trouble passing."
Uncertain - The Legislature does not meet until 1980. Present officers and Democrat Gov. Julian Carroll say they have problems with giving the District of Columbia two senators.
Unlikely - Gov. Edwin W. Edwards dismisses the amendment as "a silly idea." Henry E. Brades IV of New Orleans, the only black in the senate, will sponsor, but many legislators agree with Sen. E. Edwards Barham of Oak Ridge that D.C. residents are "the best represented folks around."
Uncertain - Democrat House Speaker John Martin favors ratification but believes chances of House passage is only 50-50. Main objections, he hears, concerns dilution of power of states.
Uncertain - With the Democratic majority leadership of both houses either defeated or resigned, the fate of the amendment could be determined by intra-party elections at the start of the January session.
Likely - "There's little doubt that it will go through," said Democrat House Speaker Thomas McGee. Adds House Majority Leader George Keverian: "Those who think the amendment will lead to dimimution of conservative strength and an increase in black representation in Congress would have no power in Massachusetts."
Likely - Ratification could occur this week. The resolution unanimously passed a House committee and enjoys bipartisan support, including that of Republican Gov. William Miliken.
Uncertain - Democrat Gov. Rudy Perpich is ducking the issue, saying "I stick to Minnesota business."
Senate Judiciary Chairman Jack Davies, expects the vote "will be taken as a litmus test of whether you're a bigot or not - which bothers me somewhat."
Unlikely - The last amendment ratified in Jackson was the 18th, prohibition.
Uncertain - House Speaker Kenneth J. Rothman expects quick ratification in January. The more conservative senate is expected to move slower.
Unlikely - It has so little support that GOP State Sen. Gene Turnage says, "I doubt we'll even act on it." State Sen. Tom Towe (D-Billings), whose committee would consider it, said, "It is very, very unlikely it would pass."
Uncertain - Sen. Neil Simon, a Democrat who favors ratification, said "If it comes down to a partisan fight in Nebraska, it probably will be beaten here." Passage requires 33 votes in the 49-member unicameral legislature that is composed of 29 Republicans, 13 Democrats and two independents. Sen. Pat Venditte (R-Omaha) said, "We have enough liberal senators in Washington now and we don't need two more."
Unlikely - One newspaper already has taken editorial stand against ratification. State Sen. Jim Gibson, chairman of the governmental affairs committee, gussed that, given the conservative bent of most Nevadans, the legislators would oppose ratification.
Uncertain - Gov. Meldrim Thompson, urged on by publisher William Loeb of the ultra-conservative Manchester Union-Leader, the state's largest newspaper, has attacked the amendment. House Speaker George Roberts supports ratification, where its chance of passage is better than in the State Senate.
Ratified - First and thus far only state to approve the amendment. Passed both houses on Sept. 11.
Unlikely - Even among liberals, reaction to the proposal is overwhelmingly negative in Sante Fe. A few Democrats lean slightly toward ratification, but most legislators fear diminution of Western clout.
Likely - GOP minority leader in the Assembly, Paul Duryea, who is his party's candidate for governor, calls ratification "long overdue." In the Senate, Democratic minority leader Manfred Ohrenstein will cosponsor with the four black members, and Republican majority leader Warren Anderson also supports it, as does Gov. Hugh Carey.
Uncertain - Three-fifths majority is required to ratify a constitutional amendment. Success or failure could rest on the ability of black leaders and liberal white legislators to form a coalition against rural-conservative opposition. House Speaker Carl J. Stewart says there is "not a lot of enthusiasm" for ratification.
Uncertain - Gov. Arthur Link supports ratification and legislative leaders say the issue has aroused little interest. Republican Senate Majority Leader David E. Nething detects "no indication of trouble or support." Senate minority leader S. F. Hoffner favors ratification, and believes it has "an even chance."
Likely - The Democrats who comfortably control both houses predict ratification soon after the November election. Senate Majority Leader Oliver Ocasek said, "it's long overdue. I expect no problems." House Speaker Vernal Riffe assumes there will be "a lot of support."
Unlikely - House majority leader James Townsend (D-Chawnee) predicts little support, citing what he considers overrepresentation of the East Coast now in Congress.The makeup of the new legislature, which convenes Jan. 2, could be critical.
Likely - Senate President Jason Boe, a Democrat, predicts passage "only after a strenuous debate." Boe, who also is president of the National Conference on State Legislatures, is undecided because D.C. "is loaded with federal employees . . . who may not be able to say 'no' when it comes down to a gut issue between the states and federal government." Sen. Billy McCoy (D-Portland), first black ever elected to the state legislature, will sponsor.
Likely - Fate of ratification in Harrisburg may be determined this week. The Senate sponsor, Sen. Freeman Hankins (D-Philadelphia); counts only the bare 26 votes needed for passage, and with no Republican support. The House also may act this week.
Likely - House Democrat majority leader Michael A. Higgins said, "I don't see any great incentive," but he also sees no opposition. House GOP leader Frederick Lippitt agrees it's "not an issue of great significance here," but he will not oppose. Gov. J. Joseph Garrahy, a Democrat, favors ratification but won't get out in front on it," an aide said.
Likely - Sen. L. Marion Gressette, who as president pro-tem spearheaded defeat of ERA in South Carolina, has "reservations" that could prevent its passage in 1979, but supporters are confident ratification will occur in 1980.
Unlikely - Republicans hold two-thirds majorities in both houses. House Majority Leader Walter Dale Miller (R-New Underwood) admits that "the basic principles of taxation without representation are hard to argue against," but he adds, "Why should we want to deplete" the voting strength of rural states? Sen. Majority Leader Homer Harding (R-Pierre) doubts that the amendment even will be introduced.
Uncertain - Rep. Bob Davis (D-Chattanooga) a white insurance broker, who will sponsor, said "Those who predict a hard fight may underestimate the influence black groups have in the legislature these days." House Speaker pro-tem Harper Brewer (D-Memphis), a black, believes chances of passage are "remote to nil."
Uncertain - House Speaker Billy Clayton opposes ratification, saying "Give two senators to an area that isn't even a state? I don't think Texas wants to get into that." The Houston Post, owned by the family of Lieutenant Governor Billy Hobby, Paso Times, supports ratification.
Unlikely - Ratification appears to have virtually no chance. Senate President Moroni L. Jensen (D-Salt Lake) opposes and hopes "it won't become another ERA." A survey shows no more than 10 of 75 Senate members and 14 of 104 House members supporting. Democrat Gov. Scott M. Matheson, one of the most liberal leaders in recent history of Utah, opposes, believing Congressional approval came "without substantive debate."
Likely - Leaders of both the Republican-dominated Senate and Democrat controlled House favor ratification, as does GOP Gov. Richard Snelling, making passage virtually certain when the legislature meets in January.
Unlikely - Del. Gary Myers (R-Alexandria) and Sen. Douglass Wilder (D-Richmond) will sponsor resolutions, but Myers admits chances of approval, at least in 1979, are "small inded." The best hope for ratification, Myers said, would occur if the makeup of the power House Committee on Privileges and Elections, changes in future years.
Likely - Democrats who control both houses of the legislature, along with Democrat Gov. Dixy Lee Ray, support ratification and predict passage early in the session that begins in January. Senate Majority Leader Gordon Walgren acknowledges a "question in the West about increasing representation on the eastern seaboard," but said, "that ought to be overriden by a belief that those people ought to be represented."
Like - Democrat Gov. John D. Rockefeller IV favors ratification, and House Speaker Donald Kopp predicts passage Senate President W. T. Brotherton worries that federal employees would be inclined to vote for the candidate who would do the most for them, but chances generally are favorable.
Uncertain - Gov. Martin Schreiber and Senate President Pro-Tem Fred Risser support ratification, but Sen. David Berger (D-Milwaukee), is opposed.
Unlikely - Eight of nine legislators interviewed thought the amendment would be rejected, even though two of them planned to support it and two others were undecided.
Also contributing to this article was Washington Post researcher Regina Fraind.