Republicans Dominate in State Elections

Republicans Dominate in State Elections

( – There is a lot for Republicans to be happy about across the country after Tuesday’s election, despite whatever the presidential outcome might be. In every situation, there’s a silver lining. Perhaps the most significant is that Democrats performed horribly in state legislative races. That could have a chilling impact on Democrats for the next 10 years or more.

Democrats hoped they could flip several state legislature positions held by Republicans. They spent tens of millions of dollars attempting to defeat Republican state legislators. It failed miserably.

Republicans held every state legislature they already controlled, including the swing states of Wisconsin and Pennsylvania. Additionally, they flipped both the House and Senate in New Hampshire and held control in Minnesota’s upper chamber.

In 2020, 21 states were run by Republicans, who held the state House, Senate, and governorship. In total, Republicans controlled 52% of state legislative seats across the country. That number expanded in the November 2020 election, but it’s not known by how much at this point. Some states are still counting their votes.

Republicans Ensure Democrats Are a Minority Party

The good news for Republicans in 2020 was they overperformed. Republican incumbents won every seat they were defending and flipped six Democratic seats. Some estimates suggested Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) would expand her majority by 5 to 20 members. However, that didn’t work out for them.

While Democrats are still the majority in the House, they may not be able to hold it in the future thanks to their shrinking numbers in 2020 and redistricting for the 2022 midterm elections.

During the Obama years, Republicans learned that retaking the US House would be vital to their future success at the Congressional level. The state legislatures provide a critical role in the balance of power in Washington, DC. Because 2020 was a census year, state legislatures will decide how districts are redrawn as population trends change the makeup of a state’s allocation of congressional seats.

Republican majorities will likely redraw state legislative and congressional districts to ensure Democrats are the minority party. Ultimately, it could mean there are more Republicans in Washington and in state capitals for the next 10 years as they have control over the map-making process.

As tens of millions of dollars were spent by Democratic groups to flip state legislative races, it appears it was in vain. Now, they will have to focus on 2031 in hopes they can win enough state legislatures to help them secure power in both the states and Washington DC. It’s a massive challenge that has eluded them for 20 years.

Don Purdum, Independent Political Analyst

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