OOIDA ELECTION REPORT GOP makes gains in statehouse races

By Keith Goble, Land Line state legislative editor | 11/5/2014

Seats in 87 of the nation’s 99 state legislative chambers were on fall ballots with Republicans making the biggest advances on Election Day.

The GOP now claims the majority in 66 chambers while the Democrats rule 29 chambers – changing from 57 and 41 before Nov. 4, respectively. One chamber is tied and two remain undecided.

Two years after Democrats made strides in reversing the Republican pendulum swing following the 2010 elections there was significant changeover throughout the nation with partisan control shifting from Democrats to Republicans in at least nine statehouses. Majority control is significant because it can often allow a party to control the agenda and advance legislation on its own.

The GOP wrestled both chambers away from Democrats in Nevada and possibly Colorado and Maine. The Colorado Senate is in the Republican ledger with House control still undecided.

The majority in the Maine House is also too close to call.

Republicans also won new majorities in the Minnesota House, New Hampshire House, New Mexico House, West Virginia House, Maine Senate and New York Senate. The West Virginia Senate has gone from Democratic majority prior to Election Day to now being split.

The GOP now has the majority of both chambers in 29 states. Democrats have the majority in 11 states. Statehouses split between the parties increased from four to six, with races in Colorado, Maine and Washington still too close to call.

Nebraska has a single-chamber legislature that is nonpartisan.

In addition, 29 states have a trifecta. The distinction is for political parties that hold the governorship, the state Senate and state House majorities. Republicans have pulled the trick in 23 states and Democrats can claim it in six states.

The grip of a party’s control is significant because it can allow for the majority party to push through initiatives despite opposition from the minority party.

With this year’s elections nearly wrapped up, both parties turn their attention to 2016. At that time, 86 of the nation’s 99 chambers will hold state legislative elections.

For more 2014 election coverage from Land Line, click here.

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