State of the States: Shifting Balance of Power in State Legislatures

November 17, 2018 by TWN Staff

Following the elections on November 6, state control is now divided in thirteen states. Democrats picked up six states, bringing their total to fourteen while Republicans held on to control in 22 states. Scroll to the bottom to see the full breakdown of state control by party.

Here is a look at the seven states that saw one or both chambers flip control:

ALASKA

In Alaska, women rule. The state Senate will see two new female members, and 6 newly-elected women will serve in the House. Alaska’s state House is also the only state chamber in the country to move from Democratic to Republican control. Previously, a small group of renegade Republicans had joined with Democrats to lead the chamber, but this year’s midterm results mark the end of the Democratic-led coalition.

COLORADO

The Colorado Senate is one of 6 state chambers to flip from Republican to Democratic control this year, and that’s not the only notable thing about The Centennial State following this year’s midterm elections. Consistent with trends across the country, women made impressive gains in the Colorado state House where 62 of the 142 candidates were women.

CONNECTICUT

Democrats seized a solid majority in the Connecticut State Senate with six pickups and increased their hold in the House with over a dozen victories, pending the results of three recounts. The six seats gained in the Senate are a significant improvement over the chamber’s previous 18-18 tie. With Ned Lamont winning the governor’s office, Democrats will have firm control over state government as Republicans faced steep losses throughout New England.

MAINE

It was 2008 when Maine was last controlled by a single party, until election day 2018 when Democrats recaptured the Governor’s office, State House and State Senate.  In the last few years, outgoing Republican Governor Paul LaPage was notorious for his use of the veto power.  However, incoming Governor Janet Mills (D), the first female governor for the state, will be aided by 21+ seats in the 35 seat State Senate and 81+ seats in the State House.

MINNESOTA

In a big shift, Democrats won 18 seats in the Minnesota State House to retake control of the chamber while Republicans held on to a narrow one-seat majority after winning a special election. When the new legislature convenes this January, it will be the only divided legislature in the country marking our nation’s continued polarization.

NEW HAMPSHIRE

For the first time in nearly a decade, Democrats will now control both chambers of the New Hampshire State House. Overcoming a difficult Senate map, Democrats now have a 14-10 advantage. In the House, Democrats now have a 60 seat majority in the 424-member legislative body. Despite these wins, Republican Governor Chris Sununu won re-election meaning the new Democratic legislative majorities will have to work with the governor’s office to pass new laws.

NEW YORK

Democrats have finally won full control of the New York State Senate, ending what has been a bizarre power sharing process between Republican and Democrats over the last several months. While the New York State Assembly has been solidly Democratic with a 104-41 majority, however prior to the recent midterms, the Democrats had only a slim 32-31 majority. When one Democratic senator chose to caucus with the Republicans, it created a unique struggle for power that has now come to an end.

state control by party

The states listed below are categorized by the power share in each state between the governor, state senate, and state house. Nebraska is omitted due to its unicameral, non-partisan legislature.

DEMOCRATS

California

Colorado (pick up)

Connecticut (pick up)

Delaware

Hawaii

Illinois (pick up)

Maine (pick up)

Nevada (pick up)

New Jersey

New Mexico (pick up)

New York

Oregon

Rhode Island

Washington

DIVIDED

Kansas (previously Rep. held)

Louisiana

Maryland

Massachusetts

Michigan (previously Rep. held)

Minnesota

Montana

New Hampshire (previously Rep. held)

North Carolina

Pennsylvania

Vermont

Virginia

Wisconsin (previously Rep. held)

REPUBLICANS

Alabama

Alaska (pick up)

Arizona

Arkansas

Florida

Georgia

Idaho

Indiana

Iowa

Kentucky

Mississippi

Missouri

North Dakota

Ohio

Oklahoma

South Carolina

South Dakota

Tennessee

Texas

Utah

West Virginia

Wyoming

2018 Midterms

Trump signs election meddling order, but no mention of Russia 2018 Midterms
Trump signs election meddling order, but no mention of Russia
September 13, 2018
by Christina Paulos

President Donald Trump signed an executive order aimed at punishing foreign actors that interfere with U.S. elections, senior administration officials said Wednesday. Read More

Apathy anew: Democrats’ biggest 2018 fear is low turnout among people of color 2018 Midterms
Apathy anew: Democrats’ biggest 2018 fear is low turnout among people of color
September 15, 2018
by Christina Paulos

Misael Avila has tried everything to convince his Latino community in central California to care more about politics. He has led voter-registration drives around Modesto. He’s personally knocked on voters’ doors. He has even hosted a congressional debate at his Catholic church. Read More

‘Anger is a great motivator.’ A guide to the GOP’s biggest 2018 fears 2018 Midterms
‘Anger is a great motivator.’ A guide to the GOP’s biggest 2018 fears
September 15, 2018
by Christina Paulos

President Donald Trump is caught in an unrelenting swirl of scandal, and President Barack Obama’s signature health care law is still intact. Democratic energy is unbridled, and Republican enthusiasm is uncertain. Read More

Another Daley to run for Chicago mayor In The News
Another Daley to run for Chicago mayor
September 15, 2018
by Christina Paulos

Former U.S. Commerce Secretary Bill Daley will announce Monday that he’s going to run for a job once held by his brother and father — mayor of Chicago. Read More

O’Halleran: Leading the Fight for Rural America Spotlight
O’Halleran: Leading the Fight for Rural America
September 19, 2018
by TWN Staff

Cruising down the Arizona highway in an RV, Congressman Tom O’Halleran, Chairman of the Blue Dog Rural Task Force, was on a mission over August recess: meeting as many constituents as possible. Read More

Campaign Ad: Stephanie Murphy – “Accountable” Polling and Ads
Campaign Ad: Stephanie Murphy – “Accountable”
September 19, 2018
by Christina Paulos

Representative Stephanie Murphy, who is seeking re-election in Florida's 7th District, released her second television ad of the 2018 campaign. Watch the ad, which centers on Murphy’s work to hold Congress accountable to the people... Read More

Straight From The Well
scroll top