Fifteen of the nation’s state legislative chambers could see a change in partisan control in the 2018 elections. Nine of these are currently controlled by Democrats, while six are controlled by Republicans.
A Ballotpedia analysis identified five states where control of both the state house and senate could change hands: Colorado, Connecticut, Maine, New Hampshire, and Washington.
The state house of representatives is expected to be a battleground in Alaska, Minnesota, and New Mexico. Control of the state Senate may be in play in Delaware and Nevada.
Prior to the 2010 elections, Democrats controlled 61 of the country's 99 state legislative chambers, Republicans controlled 37, and one chamber was split between the parties. In the six years that followed, Republicans made significant gains and took control of many of the chambers that were previously held by Democrats. Following the 2016 elections, Republicans controlled 68 chambers and Democrats controlled 31.
The shift in partisan control was one measure of the Democratic Party’s decline during President Obama’s tenure. However, it was not unusual. Only four presidents in the past 100 years have seen their party gain strength while they were in office.
An earlier Number of the Day noted that Republicans currently have trifectas in 26 states. A trifecta is when one party controls both houses of the state legislature and the governorship.
Term limits will prevent a total of 271 state legislators from seeking re-election next year.
More information on these state legislative races can be found here
Each weekday, Scott Rasmussen’s Number of the Day explores interesting and newsworthy topics at the intersection of culture, politics, and technology. Columns published on Ballotpedia reflect the views of the author.
Scott Rasmussen is a Senior Fellow for the Study of Self-Governance at the King’s College in New York and an Editor-At-Large for Ballotpedia, the Encyclopedia of American Politics. His most recent book, "Politics Has Failed: America Will Not," was published by the Sutherland Institute in May.To read more of his reports — Click Here Now.
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