DemDaily: Staking The States
April 15, 2019
The most critical battlefields for Democrats in 2019 and 2020 lie not in a handful of statewide races but at the ground level in the state legislatures, where control of one or both chambers will determine the shape of future congressional districts.
|There are currently 7,383 state legislative seats in 99 state legislative chambers throughout the country. Republicans currently hold 61 of the chambers and Democrats hold the majority in 37 chambers. One chamber, Alaska, shares power between the two parties.|
The decennial (every ten years) population census will be taken in 2020, and from that the 2021 redistricting, or redrawing, of the electoral district map in each state will take place. The majority of redistricting plans will be drawn by state legislatures, with many subject to final approval by the state's Governor.2018
In the 2018 cycle, Democrats ushered a new era of dominance at the state level, electing more than 2,900 state Democrats and flipping from red to blue over 400 state legislative seats -- the greatest gains for Democrats in a generation.
These victories resulted in eight new Democratic majorities in the Colorado Senate, Connecticut Senate, Maine Senate, Minnesota House, New Hampshire House, New Hampshire Senate, New York Senate and the Washington Senate.
Democrats also gained supermajorities -- when one party controls either three-fifths or two-thirds of a chamber -- in the California Senate, Illinois House, Nevada Assembly, Oregon House, Oregon Senate, and Vermont House.
Nearly 1,250 of the Democratic legislators elected in 2018 were women, and more than 900 were candidates of color.
There are four states with legislative elections in 2019, including Louisiana and Mississippi, where Republicans hold solid majorities in both chambers. In New Jersey, where Democrats control the State House and Senate, just the House is up this year.
In addition, 52 state legislative special elections have been scheduled or held in 20 states.
Key targets include Florida, Georgia, Michigan, North Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Texas, and Wisconsin.
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Sources: DLCC, Ballotpedia