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Defying the Odds

Defying the Odds
New book about the 2016 election.

Tuesday, September 6, 2016

State Legislatures and the Long Game

Reid Wilson reports at The Hill:
Republicans have total control of the redistricting process in 20 states, including Florida, Wisconsin, Michigan, Texas and North Carolina. Democrats have total control of the redistricting process in just four states, only one of which — Illinois — is home to a significant number of Republican members of Congress.

Winning back state legislative seats “will help us ensure that we have more than a seat at the table, that we’ll be able to determine what that table looks like,” said Aaron Ford, the Democratic leader of Nevada’s state Senate.

Democrats have decent chances to win 11 Republican-held legislative chambers. Six of those chambers, state Senates in Colorado, Nevada, New York, Virginia, Washington and West Virginia, would change hands if Democrats are able to win only a single seat.

Democrats hope to make more substantial gains in the Maine Senate and in state House chambers in Michigan, Minnesota, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Mexico and Pennsylvania.

For Democrats, ending this year’s elections with 40 state legislative chambers would be a victory, party strategists say.

The party plans to tie GOP candidates to Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump, who is viewed unfavorably by key voting blocs, especially white women in suburban districts. Democrats have their eyes on a few seats in Colorado’s Jefferson County, just outside Denver; the Portland suburbs in Maine; the Hudson Valley and Long Island in New York; and seats that ring Puget Sound in Washington.