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Friday, October 26, 2012

Battle for the Legislatures

In 2010, Republicans made historic gains in state legislatures. Thanks in part to redistricting, they are poised to keep most of them. Reid Wilson writes at National Journal:
This year, voters in 45 states will cast ballots in state legislative elections. Both Democrats and Republicans have a chance to switch control of the gavels in key states. Some of these battles are in the same states that President Obama and Mitt Romney are fighting over; in others, partisan majorities are fighting against statewide trends that benefit the other side.

Democrats hope to take control in states such as Colorado, where Republicans hold a one-seat majority in the state House; Maine, where Republicans have six-seat advantages in the 35-member Senate and the 151-member House; Minnesota, where Democrats hold 29 Senate seats to the Republicans’ 37; and New York, a perpetual battleground where Republicans cling to a two-seat advantage in the (soon-to-be) 63-member Senate. Democrats also think they will be able to snag control of Oregon’s House, where the two parties each hold 30 seats.

But Republicans have made a concerted effort to play both offense and defense. Their efforts have put several Democratic-held chambers in jeopardy this year. Democrats will defend the Colorado Senate, where they hold a five-seat advantage in a 35-member chamber; the Iowa Senate, where they have a 26-24 majority; and Nevada’s 21-member Senate and Wisconsin’s 33-member Senate, both chambers where they hold a single-seat majority. Republicans feel optimistic about winning back seats in Minnesota’s House, where 81 Democrats set the agenda over 72 Republicans, and in the New Mexico House, where 36 Democrats control a 70-seat chamber.